I'm worried my confession wasn't good enough


#1

I’m worried that at confession I did not confess well enough, and that it is not valid in God’s eyes.

I went to confession Saturday, and I was extremely nervous, and ashamed. I had brought a list of my sins so I wouldn’t forget anything, and I used that. I did not omit any important mortal sins (I may have accidentally skipped a venial one), but while confessing the mortal sins I accidentally in the spur of the moment did not say some of the words regarding the specifics of the sin. I am so ashamed of the sin and was terrified about confessing it, but even though I am now out of confession I still do not feel clean. I did not intentionally omit details I think, but I was nervous and scared.

Do I have to confess again in more detail, or am I free to move on and learn? I have not committed these sins I had for a long time now, and I honestly do NOT intend to.


#2

Accidentally is the key word. You were nervous and forgot.

God and the angels are rejoicing that you went to confession. :thumbsup:

Move on…


#3

I had the words right there in front of me, though, but I had already moved onto the next thing and didn’t go back. :frowning: Is that still alright?


#4

You don’t need specifics in confession…you DO need to confess any information connected to the sin to help the priest understand its serverity, or the amount of times it has been commited…if you purposley withheld this info, then yes…you have to go back to confession.

They don’t need a long story,they don’t need excuses…but they need to know enough information so that they understand the serverity of your crime.

Now, I’d like to direct your attention to the story of the prodigal son…
The son realizing his bad choices and leaving his fathers house and squandering his inheritence…he realizes the pitible state he’s in and decides to go back to his father…and he comes up with exactly what he’s going to say to him: “father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and am no longer worth to be called your son…treat me as you would one of your hired servants”. He heads home (keep in mind…jesus told this story to show us Gods fatherly love for us)…

It says that the father caughts sight of him coming far off and ran out to meet him and before the son could get the rehersed speech out…the father embraces him and throws a party, puts a ring on his finger, sandles on his feet and gives him a robe!

So if what you messed up in forgetting what to say was formality…don’t worry…but if what you didn’t say was necessary for the priest to grasp what you did wrong and you withheld it…get back to confession!


#5

It is difficult to advise from here -- ones Priest can help one.

Let me go over some of the general aspects.

Venial sins do not need to be confessed -- one may omit any venial sin. They can be forgiven in many ways (though confession of them is good)

Mortal sins are to be confessed in *number *and *kind *and that which *changes *the kind (like it was your brother you murdered).

One gets to the actual kind: murder, fornication, adultery, abortion etc

But one does not go into other unneeded details... (or degree of sinfulness)

If one forgets the above -- and later realizes one did --then one needs to confess just what was forgotten. If one say -- tries to confess it rightly but then later realizes that one did not say it as one should (like a person said "fornication" but after confession he realizes he should have said "adultery" for he is married --such would seem to be in the same category as a "forgotten mortal sin".

If one hides a mortal sin --that is another story -- then one can need to re-confess the other mortal sins too --saying that he hid the other mortal sin. The Priest can guide a person in such a situation.

Also note that something can be said "clear enough" but not use the technical words

Jimmy Akin: jimmyakin.com/2007/03/specific_confes.html

In any case know that Jesus is the *Good Shepherd *and he loves you!


#6

Mortal sins are to be confessed in *number *and *kind *and that which *changes *the kind (like it was your brother you murdered or a chalice you stole...).

One gets to the actual kind: murder, fornication, adultery, abortion etc

But one does not go into other unneeded details... (or degree of sinfulness)

It is difficult to advise one from a distance here and not sure exactly what happened there--
One can return to the Priest in confession and tell him what happened..(if it is the same Priest that can be helpful).

(now if one just "forgets" a mortal sin but meant to confess it etc --one is simply to confess it in the next confession)


#7

Jimmy Akin: jimmyakin.com/2007/03/specific_confes.html


#8

[quote="alli124, post:3, topic:320152"]
I had the words right there in front of me, though, but I had already moved onto the next thing and didn't go back. :( Is that still alright?

[/quote]

Move on........ you received absolution and in your explanation of the incident you show a certain amount of sorrow that you seem to get it. Pray to God that you may move on and don't do it again.


#9

Alright I guess I should give my specific example.

I told him I had looked at impure pictures and videos, but forgot to say writing as there was writing also. One time there was something with gay in it, but i didnt say that at the confession because of how scared and ashamed i was. do i need to go back to confess it? im not even old enough to drive and i would rather keep this private from my parents and move forward, so im just terrified and worried and don’t know what to do.

im kind of a perfectionist and i worry that God would say once I died that my confession of my worst sins was not valid ( i dont intend to make any more mortal sins so i really hope these were the worst! )


#10

[quote="MichaelHowling, post:4, topic:320152"]
You don't need specifics in confession..........you DO need to confess any information connected to the sin to help the priest understand its serverity, or the amount of times it has been commited.....if you purposley withheld this info, then yes....you have to go back to confession.

They don't need a long story,they don't need excuses....but they need to know enough information so that they understand the serverity of your crime.

Now, I'd like to direct your attention to the story of the prodigal son...
The son realizing his bad choices and leaving his fathers house and squandering his inheritence......he realizes the pitible state he's in and decides to go back to his father....and he comes up with exactly what he's going to say to him: "father, I have sinned against heaven and against you and am no longer worth to be called your son...treat me as you would one of your hired servants". He heads home (keep in mind....jesus told this story to show us Gods fatherly love for us)...

It says that the father caughts sight of him coming far off and ran out to meet him and before the son could get the rehersed speech out...the father embraces him and throws a party, puts a ring on his finger, sandles on his feet and gives him a robe!

So if what you messed up in forgetting what to say was formality....don't worry......but if what you didn't say was necessary for the priest to grasp what you did wrong and you withheld it.....get back to confession!

[/quote]

Nice post; I really like your analogy with the Prodigal son.


#11

Unless you skipped something on purpose, you’re fine.

Move on…


#12

I think I can move on, but I posted a specific example a few posts above and a feedback from that would be great.

I’d love to move on but I am really scared I didn’t do the right thing and want to be the best I can be I guess, even if it’s hard. :frowning:


#13

The best thing to do if you’re this upset is just to go back to confession and tell the priest what you told us here. Then you can sleep soundly at night.


#14

I’d love to, but I can’t get to confession very easily. :frowning: I can’t drive and my family only goes 1-2 times a year.


#15

Can you get a ride with someone else or take a cab or bus? Or perhaps you can call your parish and speak to the priest about your situation (without going into details–just say you fear you’ve made a bad confession and need to reconfess) and ask if he can hear your confession before the Mass that you attend with your family?


#16

I could try, but I would rather not if I don’t have to.

Was what I said good enough, or was what I did not say effecting to the severity of the sin?


#17

It is certainly a strange world. On TV people talk about their shockingly sinful lives with no shame whatsoever. On Geraldo or Jerry Springer, I remember, some of the stuff that went down. I used to watch the programs on my days off from work.

Why did I watch them? Curiosity of how the world changed.

Getting on network TV and telling everyone how they had an affair with their sister-in-law when her husband was away, and they aren’t sure if the baby is theirs, etc. All the dirt gets blown around the atmosphere. If the priest wanted to hear all the disgusting stuff, he’d probably watch Jerry Springer (if he’s still on TV) or some other talk show. My point is, I think some discretion is OK when telling truly vile sins. By discretion, I mean, tell the sin, but not the sludge the sin leaves behind. Like a backed-up drain, most of us can relate to the disgusting things we feel or whatever. Just don’t go off on a tangent.


#18

Hi alli,

Did the priest say to you: “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” ?


#19

[quote="alli124, post:16, topic:320152"]
I could try, but I would rather not if I don't have to.

Was what I said good enough, or was what I did not say effecting to the severity of the sin?

[/quote]

Honestly, I'm probably not the best person to ask b/c I am scrupulous and have OCD. I'd go back if it were me so I could stop worrying about it. But since you say this will be difficult, I am afraid I don't have an answer for you. Hopefully someone else will. I'm so sorry. I've "been there/done that" and it's an awful feeling. I'll pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to know what is pleasing to Him.


#20

Yes, but he’s probably said that to others who have withheld.

I’m just worried because

a. I wasn’t sure how much to tell about the sin (I posted exact details about what I didn’t say a few posts ago)

b. I thought about needing to say it, but I was so focused and scared it was a split second thought I couldn’t really go back on in the time I was in there

I’m probably being scrupulous but would also like to know from someone who is experienced in this matter. I’m sorry if I’m being frustrating!


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