Please forgive the long post, but I was hoping someone could enlighten me, and hopefully set my mind at ease.
I recently made a general confession a week ago. Needless to say, it was pretty stressful.
Now, I DID NOT purposely conceal anything, or try to use such ambigious language that the priest wouldn’t know what I was saying~but in my rising stress levels, I ‘babbled’ a bit trying to get one pretty harrowing sin off my conscience. (I do have impulse control issues, so that might have aggravated my babbling.) :shrug:
I’m now anxious if I was trying to ‘justify’ my sin, or was I still not coherent enough for absolution?
What happened was I remember the first time I was attacked with my first serious temptation against the 6th commandment, and I mean VERY serious, but I was young and very inexperienced in this matter at the time. When I was a teenager, I’m pretty sure I only thought it was a temptation, which I didn’t give in to by action, and wasn’t knowledgeable about having to confess about ‘impure thoughts’, and when I did learn a little later, I just understood you needed to confess ‘impure thoughts’, but had no idea about having to confess the more detailed nature of those thoughts. I was a pretty innocent teenager ignorant in a lot of things! (Only later when I began to really study my faith did I understand.)
Now for my general life-time confession: when I was going over my detailed examination of conscience in this matter, I was stressed wondering how to confess this: I was ignorant at the time, so how do you go into detail about the sin you commited back THEN and when you were ignorant of the details, and confessed according to your knowldge back THEN in previous confessions, but NOW know the difference?
*) I know the gravity of a sin can be lessened by the violence of a temptation, and also through honest but not willful ignorance of the thing, but I wanted to confess at my general confession what happened and give all the circumstances that might have lessened or compounded the sin. I told the priest during my general confession it must have been an unnatural obessive temptation because since this was the first time it happened, it was not just normal thoughts of impurity with a boy, etc, it went extremely ‘heavy’, obsessive, and went into very ‘unnautral thoughts’. However, when I was finally able to get control and think about what was happening, and was able to deliberate about what was happening, I remember telling myself that this was a sin, and I didn’t want to ‘do this’, and then, the temptation and the thoughts diminished.
So, when I was a teenager, I just confessed I had ‘impure thoughts’, but now for this general confession was trying to explain how far they went, but in my stress I could only get out that it went beyound thinking about boyfriends, etc, and got hit with ‘very, very unnatural thoughts concerning impurity’. I also explained why I thought it was an obsessive intrustive temptation, to get hit with images and temptations like this for your first experince with fleshly concupiscence? It seemed beyond a normal temptation to me as I look back on it now. I asked the priest if he understood what I was trying to say, and he said he did. So, it may or not have been mortal, but I wasn’t sure, but was trying to confess it.
Of course, NOW I’m anxious I was too vague, but it wasn’t on purpose, and I might have over-confessed other sins which I DIDN’T DO under the lable ‘very very unnatural thoughts’!
However, I wasn’t intending to hide anything, (Heck, I was OVER confessing!) and the priest said he understood.
So, is this confession valid? I was trying to get this off my chest, but babbled too much? Went into too much detail without being clear? Am I being scrupulous, or over-obsessive about this?
I keep telling myself if being ambigious through stress WASN´T INTENTIONAL, I was labouring to get that sin off my chest, and I would literally say to the priest in confessing next time ‘it wasn’t intentional’, then my confession wasn’t an intentional sacrilige, but…I’m killing myself over it…
Thank you for your thoughts and advice.