General Confession

Has anyone made a general confession? Should I do one, I’m not in mortal sin or anything but I hear of people making general confessions and I don’t know if I should do one or not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! God Bless!

I have done before. I was a tradition in times of too much Scrupulosity. I mean, it does not sense sense, does it? I is like the general cleaning of a house that you do once a year. Once a week you clean the house but there are corners that are left behind. So, once a year, you do a general cleaning that leaves nothing uncleaned.

I do not think the comparison is good for confession. With each confession, nothing is left behind.

Theologians say that reparations are left behind. But then you do not do that with confession. You do that with actions: If you scolded somebody unjustly, you go there and ask for forgiveness, if you stole something, you give it back, if you killed somebody, you do whatever you can to solace the victims, if it is a thought sin, you give money to the poor and so on…

General confessions are required for converts from other beliefs, just prior to the Easter Vigil when they are received into the Catholic Church. Or for someone who has been away from the sacraments for an extended period of time, confession is required covering the time they were away.

Oh…I thought you were referring to a confession made as a group with a group prayer… I think you should talk to your priest about this. I was reading a book by one of the saints who talked about making a general confession, so maybe it is a good thing in sometimes. I did this like another poster said because I was in RCIA & had never been to confession. :shrug:

The book was The Devout Life by Frances De Sales

If one has a spiritual director who approves of the making of a general confession of their life, then it is okay. A good spiritual director would know if it would be beneficial to the penitent or not.

This really depends upon your situation in life. Are you a convert from another Christian denomination? Have you been away from the sacraments for a long time in case you are Catholic?
If you have any doubts about this I suggest you discuss it with a priest.

I make one every year.

Several saints (St Ignatius for sure) recomended such a practice. The Jesuits, us Legionaries, and soem other Religious communities do it. Other religious communities frown upon the practice - it depends on the spirituality God has given them.

Usually one would do it while on a retreat of a weekend or longer since you are more sensative to the callings of grace while on retreat and it is a good time to break with little habits that are repetative venial sins in your life.

If you want to do one, just go into the confessional and mention it will be a general confession. It is obviously never required. Whether you do it or not, depends on what spirituality in the Church you follow and the movements of grace in your soul. Ask a priest or Spiritual director you know. I can’t make a recomendation over a public internet forum. If you don’t know any spiritual directors or a priest who knows you and you feel confortable asking, private message me with your city and I amy be able to help you.

God bless.

In Christ,
Br Matthew, LC

a good time for a general confession is in the context of a retreat that is made for the purpose of discernment, such as an Ignatian retreat for example, when entering into a commitment sacrament such as matrimony or holy orders, or when embarking on a serious life change–beginning college, new career, significant move etc. These are obviously also good times for a retreat.

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