I need help with confession


I do not have a problem going to confession but I feel like I’m “winging” it. I do pray for the Holy Spirit to help me then do an examination of conscience and I have an app to help me yet I still feel inadequate.

I would like a book that will explain confession and the steps to properly use an EOC, explanation and maybe some examples of venial and mortal sins, etc. An EOC I saw online had playing with Dungeons and Dragons as a venial sin. I do not understand that…I am not refuting it, I just want to know why. I know it is encouraged to do a nightly EOC and I want to teach my children to do the same. Must I tell the priest how many times I have committed the sin since last confession…I just give him a ball-park number now.

I do not feel very confident instructing my three children on confession as I do with the other Sacraments. :shrug:

I definitely need more instruction and guidance in this. Thank you.


Great question! Don’t miss out on the amazing, joyful sacrament of reconciliation.

Here are a few good books I think you will enjoy:

Go in Peace: Your Guide to the Purpose and Power of Confession by Fr. Mitch Pacwa

Seven Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn

There are many others but I believe these two are brief, enjoyable and well-written.

For the basics of the faith, in clear language, including a great lesson on the details of confession:

The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 2 (Catholic Book Publishing 242/05)

You will find all of these at your local Catholic book store or your favorite online retailer.

About your specific question… yes, we are expected to tell the priest, as best as we can, the number of times we commit a sin.

And above all, pray about it! Pray a rosary for the intention of making a good confession and teaching your kids. May God bless you for seeking the truth and passing it on to your children! :smiley:



(Note: some there in the rite are “options”)


There are many sources available for making a good Confession; however, there are also many sources (especially online) that are not so good, and it sounds like the EoC you found may have been one of the latter. :frowning:

These should be good EoCs, considering the source (though I have not read through all of them): usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments/penance/examinations-of-conscience.cfm

A very brief, basic one is: usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments/penance/upload/Examination-of-Conscience.pdf

As for help with teaching your children about the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance/Confession, I would suggest the Faith & Life series, specifically Grade 2. :thumbsup:


ETA: You may find this helpful, as well, though it’s not an EoC: catholicity.com/baltimore-catechism/lesson32.html


Listen, you’ve got to be very careful with on-line materials when forming an examination of conscience. Some of that might sound sensible, but may not necessarily be correct.

I don’t see how playing a game like D&D is a sin unless you know it is adversely affecting your duties.

If you can’t remember the last confession you had, just give an estimate.

If you need more guidance, then you need to talk to your priest.


Try taking a step back from the sins and figure out what flaw in you lead you to the individual sins in the first place. In my experience the priest has usually wanted me to rattle off the sins themselves, but once I’ve identified the flaw is easier to let the Holy Spirit guide my EOC to see that playing WoW (or D&D) wasn’t idolatry but viciously cursing the guy on the highway was wrath. Hope that helps a little. God bless you.


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