I'm embarrassed to go to confession!


#1

For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!


#2

Rather than try to reassure you that priests have heard it all before, and won't treat you strangely afterwards, I'll offer the simple solution:

Go to a different parish.


#3

[quote="ceeXbubbles, post:1, topic:299511"]
For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!

[/quote]

First off - 99.9% of all boys masturbate. Your age may certainly lessen any culpability.
The only thing different about you is that unlike 99% of Catholic boys you are thinking about confession.

Just say to the priest. I am 14. I masturbate x times a week.

To be honest the priest may think you are not telling the whole truth if you go to confession and do not confess this. Not that what the priest "thinks" is really important since you are confessing to Christ in person.


#4

It sounds like you're letting a fear of what others may think control your actions.

As triumphguy said, pretty much every guy does it or has done it. I can guarantee you he has heard it before and will hear it again. He won't tell anyone. He won't think less of you. He'll probably think more highly of you for taking it seriously enough to confess it.

Don't carry the sin around on your soul because of worry. Don't let fear drive you. The best way to deal with fear is to meet it head on, kick it in the face, and do what you need to do.


#5

[quote="ceeXbubbles, post:1, topic:299511"]
For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!

[/quote]

First off, hello. I'm a priest, so let me offer a few reassuring words here from a priest's perspective. I personally have a ton of respect for someone with enough courage to come to Confession in the first place, but secondly, to confess something that is more serious. Don't let fear get in the way of making a good Confession!

I can promise you, you won't confess anything that the priest has not heard. I think this is one of the Evil One's greatest tricks...to get us to think that we are all alone in our sin, and that no one else has ever confessed x, y, or z. You are not alone in this, or any other sin!

Finally, let me just offer a word about confessing anonymously. First of all, yes, you always have this option. And, if you prefer and are more comfortable confessing anonymously, by all means, do so. Many, many people do. As a priest, i dont mind if my penitents come face to face or anonymously. The sacrament works either way, and both face to face as well as "behind the screen," have their benefits. Face to face gives the priest the ability to offer more personal counsel, while anonymously helps the penitent maintain privacy and be more at peace.

But, don't be afraid of face to face confession. The priest will not judge you or tell anyone, guaranteed.


#6

You need to go to confession and confess this. If you can't say the "M" word, then tell him you "did an impure act with yourself x times" or "committed sins against chastity with yourself x times" or call it "self abuse" if you must, which is a legitimate term for it.

Also, with regards to the embarrassment you feel right now regarding confessing it. Suck it up and go to confession. The next time you're tempted to commit this sin, remember how embarrassing it is to have to confess it, and remind yourself that committing the sin is not worth the embarrassment.

Also, I'm assuming you're a male. If you are, one thing that can help on the physiological level (hormones) is to do something like strenuous running, which will help burn off excess testosterone, which is what keeps the temptations stronger at times. Strenuous weight lifting, actually causes testosterone to build up while doing it, so avoid do that.

Also, there's the 3 Hail Mary's you should pray when you start feeling tempted.


#7

They heard it all before. You are not the first. You will not be the last. After you go the Priest will forget about it. Eventually you will too. You will wonder why you sweated so much.


#8

Guilt is the fruit of a gift from the Holy Spirit called auxiliating grace, a temporary grace that casts light on your soul so that you may be aware of the committed sin and repent.

However, many holy authors of books on the devout life teach us that we ought not to be deeply disturbed. What is so surprising about your sins? Do you not know that without the help of the Holy Spirit we cannot even call God "our Father" (Rm 8:15)?

As you go through the proper sections of the Catechism - I exhort you to do so - in order to learn not so much about this sin but about the virtue of chastity (which is not to repress the natural and good desires and attractions that we all have, but to find a balance and an equilibrium that is healthy for us and pleasing to God), you will learn that chastity demands an apprenticeship in self-mastery, much like an athlete needs to train and keep a discipline if he wants to achieve something.

There is a very important thing that as a young man you should always keep in mind: when you confess, the priest is specifically acting in persona Christi, which means that during the Sacrament of Reconciliation you are confessing directly to Jesus Christ. Now Christ already knows all your sins - that is obvious, and in fact it will greatly aid you if you keep in mind that God is always present, though we may not see Him except through the veil of faith. When you are tempted, run away from the source of the temptation, kneel, and place yourself at the presence of God by meditating on the absolute truth of God's omnipresence: He is by your side, in fact, in your very heart. Even after you sin mortally, God is still by your side, in fact even more actively seeking your repentance.

So when you confess, do use the veiled window or any other means that make you feel more comfortable, but forget about the fact that you know the priest: at that very moment, it is to Christ that you speak. It is not a man he who tells you: "I absolve you", but the Divine Judge Himself.

At this age is the time in which the ancient adversary will be particularly active, and the Lord looks forward to sanctify you and make you holy. One thing the adversary does is to keep people away from confession - he hates confession! - and above all to keep them from receiving Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

You should confess very often. Possibly weekly. Confession is not only for mortal sins. We are open and actually encouraged to confess all sins, even venial ones, and even imperfections in our self and temptations that we perceive. Confess often, so that Christ may fill you every time with greater sanctifying grace. Remember: we cannot do anything on our own, but Christ has the power to make us holy, and to do so in an instant.

If you want to be a brave spiritual warrior, then you must become humble and imitate our Lord who washed with his hands the feet of his disciples to purify them. Your embarassment is a profound sign of pride, which is not just a sin, but a root sin, origin of many other sins - among which, possibly, even the very sin against chastity that you are struggling with...eradicate pride from your heart by becoming humble, like Christ, who being the Creator of all things and King of the Universe did not hesitate to say to the Father: "I am your servant, o Lord...your servant and the son of your handmaid".

Go and do the same.

Before confession, possibly the night before, do an examination of conscience. This may help you.

When you go to confess, you may simply close your eyes and talk to Jesus openly, with simplicity. You are His son, His brother, His friend. Tell him that you feel guilty and that you are sorry, partially because your pride is hurt, partially because you have offended Him. Tell him the mortal sins you are aware of. Tell him about any other sin that you may be aware of, regardless of whether you consider it venial. Tell him about the temptations, especially the worst ones, which are the ones you mention here. Temptations of lust are quite common and normal, and may come from our mind, but temptations against confession come straight from the adversary. Tell him anything you need to tell Christ. Then be still and listen to the response and the advice that Christ will give you through his servant, pay careful attention to the penance that the Divine Judge will impose, and receive the Holy Spirit and sanctifying grace, remembering that you can only receive it because Christ willfully accepted to be scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified.

Please receive my humble prayers.


#9

You have an absolute right to anonymity behind a fixed grille.

Can. 964 §2 As far as the confessional is concerned, norms are to be issued by the Episcopal Conference, with the proviso however that confessionals, which the faithful who so wish may freely use, are located in an open place, and fitted with a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor. §3 Except for a just reason, confessions are not to be heard elsewhere than in a confessional.

Stand up for your rights. If confession is not offered with the option of a grille, then you have a right to go elsewhere. If you find this to be the case in your home parish, then find an appropriate time and request of the pastor that he install a grille for the proper celebration of the sacrament.

I would echo the other posters in this thread and say there is no need to worry about being embarrassed. Your primary concern should be for your soul. We could all die at any time, just crossing the street. Once you commit a mortal sin, you should be immediately planning your next possible confession. Needless to say, you may need to abstain from receiving the Eucharist while not in a state of grace. You will be in my prayers.


#10

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:6, topic:299511"]
You need to go to confession and confess this. If you can't say the "M" word, then tell him you "did an impure act with yourself x times" or "committed sins against chastity with yourself x times" or call it "self abuse" if you must, which is a legitimate term for it.

Also, with regards to the embarrassment you feel right now regarding confessing it. Suck it up and go to confession. The next time you're tempted to commit this sin, remember how embarrassing it is to have to confess it, and remind yourself that committing the sin is not worth the embarrassment.

Also, I'm assuming you're a male. If you are, one thing that can help on the physiological level (hormones) is to do something like strenuous running, which will help burn off excess testosterone, which is what keeps the temptations stronger at times. Strenuous weight lifting, actually causes testosterone to build up while doing it, so avoid do that.

Also, there's the 3 Hail Mary's you should pray when you start feeling tempted.

[/quote]

I dunno about the last bit of advice: when I was a teen strenuous exercise would just make me more susceptible to masturbation than not.

Also, possibly masturbation is not a mortal sin for a given teen-aged boy, but ask your priest.


#11

[quote="ceeXbubbles, post:1, topic:299511"]
For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!

[/quote]

You know what really helped me to relax and accept confession as the healing sacrament that it is (rather than a scary, judgemental situation)?

A priest at a retreat stood up and told us that he had been ordained for less than a month before he heard a confession from a man who had killed someone.

Trust me, there is NOTHING you're going to confess that your priest has not already heard. In this particular case, your priest has heard this from THOUSANDS of people, tens of thousands of times.


#12

Don't have any advice as such on the sin side of it. Other than try not to, and don't convince yourself its impossible if you fail.

Embarrassment is a different thing, and saying don't be embarrassed sometimes doesn't really help. I prefer confessing to a priest I don't know personally, that's just me.I find it easier(even behind a screen I think they might recognise my voice:blush:) . So the suggestion of another parish may help, if you can manage that.
What I do hear is that regular confession is a sure help, along with prayer.
Now, time to get the log/plank/beam out of my own eye:o


#13

Everybody’s embarrassed to go to confession.


#14

[quote="JimG, post:13, topic:299511"]
Everybody's embarrassed to go to confession.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#15

I only feel guilty to go for confession but trust me, after your confession you will feel great feel like heaven :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="triumphguy, post:10, topic:299511"]
I dunno about the last bit of advice: when I was a teen strenuous exercise would just make me more susceptible to masturbation than not.

Also, possibly masturbation is not a mortal sin for a given teen-aged boy, but ask your priest.

[/quote]

Yeah..I concur. The exercise always made it worse for me, too. Too much blood flowing I guess :shrug:

Masturbation..what a curse.


#17

[quote="ceeXbubbles, post:1, topic:299511"]
For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!

[/quote]

Pray on it and the Holy Spirit will give you strength!
You shouldn't feel ashamed when you come to confess your sins, you should be ashamed when you sin!
It is nice too see you have such high moral standards, it is good for your spiritual growth!


#18

I agreewith Richard320 --go to a different Parish -- that way, you'll get it off your mind and feel better -- the Priest at either Parish cannot tell anyone -- BarbG


#19

Do not avoid the confessional for fear of embarassment especially at your age. I speak from personal experience and I avoided confession for 20+ years because of it. The sacrament will give you a resolve to keep trying to avoid this sin. If not, this type of sin could easily become a habit that will be difficult to break. Jesus wants to forgive you so why not let him so you can forgive yourself. :thumbsup:


#20

[quote="ceeXbubbles, post:1, topic:299511"]
For the past few months, I've been really terrible and am guilty of the mortal sin. Yeah masturbation.... I feel so guilty about it and every time I do it I feel SO guilty!
I got to mass every Sunday and I'm 14 and I've only been to confession twice... (first penance and before my confirmation)
I'm not sure if my church does the anonymous confession with the screen, but I'd be too embarrassed to say it to any of the priests in my parish as they all know me!!!
I need to confess I feel so guilty what do I say to the priest if I confess?!
Thanks!

[/quote]

Most confessionals still have a screen as well as chairs, and when you walk in, the priest will be sitting behind the screen so that if you want to confess anonymously, he's already there. If penitent wants to do face to face, he or she would just walk over to the chairs and the priest would then come out from the screened area and join him/her at the chairs.

But as for the priests knowing you...It doesn't matter, God grants priests with "confessional amnesia" - many priests say that they really do forget everything they hear in the confessional anyway. Since they are acting "in persona Christi," as Christ, how could they remember since God doesn't keep track of our sins. You are ABSOLVED and the sin is GONE (although there may still be temporal effects).

As for how, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I haven't confessed in over a year (or whatever period of time it's been). These are my sins as far as I can remember. I have masturbated 3 times a week, every week, for that entire year, so frequently." Etc. And whatever other sins you've committed. Then say your act of contrition and the priest will absolve you. Done!

:thumbsup:


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