Just when do we need to go to confession?


#1

Being a 2 year convert to Catholicism, there is a lot I still need to understand. One, is the WHEN to go to confession. Like I missed a few masses at one time and so I felt guilty. I went to confession and Father granted me absolution and to say the Our Father as penance.

                     But do I need to go to confession for every minor incident, like loosing my temper, using cuss words or whatever. Just what is the rule of thumb for going? Someone told me most Catholics only go once a year and some YEARS. I want to do what is right before the Lord. So I would love some feedback on this. Thanks

#2

You should go to Confession anytime you are aware that you have committed a mortal sin (and missing Mass without good cause is a mortal sin).

It is never *required *that you go to Confession when you are not aware of mortal sin, but it is a VERY good idea to go regularly (such as once a month).

A “mortal” sin is one that meets three criteria:

[list=1]
*]It is a gravely sinful matter (such as breaking one of the Ten Commandments)
*]You knew the serious nature of the sin at the time you did it.
*]You committed the sin of your own free will.
[/list]The other sins you mentioned might be venial or mortal, depending on whether they meet these criteria (only you and God really know for sure). For example, if among your cuss words, you took the Lord’s name in vain, this could be mortal.

Unfortunately, Confession is sadly neglected among the Catholic Faithful these days.


#3

You need to go to confession when you are aware of mortal sin. However, don’t settle for a minimalist faith: the late Pope JPII went to confession once a week (I would guess that Pope Benedict does), and recommended that Catholics take advantage of the sacrament frequently—I think he recommended once a month, as DavidFilmer suggested. Even if you haven’t committed any mortal sins, it is good to work on those venial sins—and we receive grace there to help is overcome them. Confession is a great gift—use it!


#4

If there is a question of mortal sins look at this website:

catholic.org/frz/examen/mortal_main.htm

There is also a link on there which has venial sins and perfections.

As mentioned before the three conditions for a sin to be mortal must be fullfilled.

Hope this will help you.

matt


#5

I’m also a convert (1997). I try to go to confession once a month. This is a sort of discipline for me. I do an examination of conscience as often as I can remember to do so. And, yes, I can always think of something to confess. Of course, they usually aren’t mortal sins. But I think it best that we not let the other sins slide. If we do, then how much easier it would be to let the bigger sins in. :gopray: :heart:


#6

lol…1 john 1:9 …just confess your sins yourself to the lord and he will forgive you…you don’t need to go to a priest to confess…they do not have the power to mediate or forgive for any sins…but you have christ who is your only mediator to stand in your place for you sins and forgive you cause of the all atoning blood that was shed on the cross…repeat: you have no need to confess to anyone your sins but only to god…now…there is one exception is that if you sin against another person you need to make that right, but by going to the person you wronged and make it right with him…then confess to the lord and ask for his forgiveness for the sin…

Ceasar


#7

Buy and study a book entitled “Frequent Confession: It’s Place in the Spiritual Life”, by Benedict Baur.


#8

I suggest doing the first five saturdays devotion, just do it every month! That way you’ll get your monthly confession in (if you would like to follow the suggestion of DavidFilmer) along with additional graces.

rosaries.com/saturdays.html

I have yet to do it. But one of these days I’m going to!


#9

[quote=ceasar]lol…1 john 1:9 …just confess your sins yourself to the lord and he will forgive you…you don’t need to go to a priest to confess…they do not have the power to mediate or forgive for any sins…but you have christ who is your only mediator to stand in your place for you sins and forgive you cause of the all atoning blood that was shed on the cross…repeat: you have no need to confess to anyone your sins but only to god…now…there is one exception is that if you sin against another person you need to make that right, but by going to the person you wronged and make it right with him…then confess to the lord and ask for his forgiveness for the sin…

Ceasar
[/quote]

That’s what we are doing when we go to confessoin Caesar. When the priest hears our sins it is in persona Christi and we know that Christ hears them as well and forgives them. John 20:21 says “RECIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT, who’s SINS YOU FORGIVE THEY ARE FORGIVEN…” so we obey his words to ask for such forgiveness. By the way have you come up for an answer as to why we can’t use the scripture where Peter denied our Lord 3 times to disprove OSAS because it is before the resurrection while you can use John 3:16 to defend the doctrine even though it is before the resurrection as well. I’ve been waiting a long time on that one.


#10

The Catechism requires yearly confession or when you commit a grave sin but highly recommends monthy. If you have a particular sin you struggle with more frequent is good. I go bi-weekly if I can. You will find that what happens when you go more is that you see more of your sins and have a greater desire for holiness. Confession is a sacrament. Therefore we should not view it as somewhere to go as a last resort but as a monthly check up of our spiritual health. There are two great chapters in Fulton Sheen’s book, “peace of the soul” on examination of conscience and confessoin. It really puts it in to perspective and explains just how come confession is so healthy for the human psychy. Those who attend confession regularly have a much lower rate of mental illness, better health, and less suicide by a wide margin.


#11

[quote=Sherlock] … the late Pope JPII went to confession once a week …
[/quote]

The late Pope JPII went to confession three times a week. Mother Theresa went to confession once a DAY.

[quote=Sherlock] … Even if you haven’t committed any mortal sins, it is good to work on those venial sins—and we receive grace there to help is overcome them. Confession is a great gift—use it!
[/quote]

Very important point!


#12

If you are fully aware of what happens when you sin, and what happens when you go to confession, this should be an easy answer. But, most probably are not aware of either of these.

When you sin, you separate yourself from God. (yes, other things happen too, but I am trying to keep this simple.)

When you make a good confession you are reunited with God.

Do you want to be you united with God? I am guessing yes. Then go to confession as often as you are separated from Him. After all a God-fearing person fears separation from God. Plus the priest gives good advice on how to avoid being separated again. :thumbsup:


#13

[quote=ceasar]lol…1 john 1:9 …just confess your sins yourself to the lord and he will forgive you…you don’t need to go to a priest to confess…they do not have the power to mediate or forgive for any sins…but you have christ who is your only mediator to stand in your place for you sins and forgive you cause of the all atoning blood that was shed on the cross…repeat: you have no need to confess to anyone your sins but only to god…now…there is one exception is that if you sin against another person you need to make that right, but by going to the person you wronged and make it right with him…then confess to the lord and ask for his forgiveness for the sin…
[/quote]

You’re obviously not a Catholic. And you obviously don’t read the Bible carefully. Perhaps there’s a connection between these two facts?


#14

OK all my Catholic sisters and brothers

                      Next question- Should we really be EXPLICIT about our sins? I mean should we go into graphic detail with our priest? Say I was a lesbian or a homosexual and got it on with the same sex umpteen times. Or if I was into incest or masterbated twenty times a week? Or if I was a wife beater or was on crack. Do you really go into detail on all this? 

                     At my first BIG confession, before being confirmed I said I was into bad sexual immorality in my life and stuff like that, but I never went into detail. No one ever explained to me just "how do you say it" to your priest? Besides some of the stuff I did I would be embarrassed before him. Did you go into detail or do you still go into detail during confession? Thanks. I await your replies.

#15

The Holy Father (late) :frowning: promoted regular confession. In fact he went himself once a week.

Confession should be something that we see as necessary on our spiritual journey.

Regular reception of the Holy Eucharist is vital for all Catholics. Hand in hand with this should be regular confession. We need to move away from seeing it as a place to visit only when we are in mortal sin.

Approach the mercy of God regularly in confidence. It has helped me immensely.


#16

[quote=piety101]Next question- Should we really be EXPLICIT about our sins? I mean should we go into graphic detail with our priest?
[/quote]

First question: No. Second question: No. Avoid the graphic details. Say enough that the nature of the sin is revealed, and so the humiliation of having to say the words helps you avoid future sins. But details, especially about sexual sin with who did what to whom, I think are best not mentioned except in the broadest of terms. The wording found in an examination of conscience booklet could be a good example of the level of detail to disclose.

Now to the thread question. I like monthly confession, unless I have a mortal sin in which I go ASAP. Regular confession helps me stay aware of sins in my life. Being aware of my tendencies to sin helps me avoid some sins. When I was sinning more and not going to confession, I thought I was a much better person than I am in reality. Confession helps me learn my weaknesses so God can strengthen me.


#17

[quote=ceasar]lol…1 john 1:9 …just confess your sins yourself to the lord and he will forgive you…you don’t need to go to a priest to confess…they do not have the power to mediate or forgive for any sins…but you have christ who is your only mediator to stand in your place for you sins and forgive you cause of the all atoning blood that was shed on the cross…repeat: you have no need to confess to anyone your sins but only to god…now…there is one exception is that if you sin against another person you need to make that right, but by going to the person you wronged and make it right with him…then confess to the lord and ask for his forgiveness for the sin…

Ceasar
[/quote]

We understand that you are not Catholic so therefore you do not understand the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The question asked was not one on opinion.

Piety 101 was asking a specific question to the Catholics on the board. As a non-Catholic you should not be attempting to answer this question as it deals with something you are not familiar with.
It is not right of you to pass your OPINION off as an answer to her specific question on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

You are welcome to post your OPINION all day long but label it as such - an OPINION. When you become Catholic then you are welcome to answer specific questions on the sacraments.


#18

[quote=piety101]OK all my Catholic sisters and brothers

                      Next question- Should we really be EXPLICIT about our sins? I mean should we go into graphic detail with our priest? Say I was a lesbian or a homosexual and got it on with the same sex umpteen times. Or if I was into incest or masterbated twenty times a week? Or if I was a wife beater or was on crack. Do you really go into detail on all this? 

                     At my first BIG confession, before being confirmed I said I was into bad sexual immorality in my life and stuff like that, but I never went into detail. No one ever explained to me just "how do you say it" to your priest? Besides some of the stuff I did I would be embarrassed before him. Did you go into detail or do you still go into detail during confession? Thanks. I await your replies.

[/quote]

You should be clear about your sin, but you don’t have to give play by play. If you had sex outside of marriage, say “I had sex out side of marriage” that is pretty simple and painless. It is also recommended that you say the number of times you committed the sin. If you had sex 2 times since your last confession, say that. If you had sex 35 times since your last confession… you probably lost count I would think so same something along the lines of how many times a week on average you did. That isn’t graphic detail, that is just frequency. This will help the preist give you better advice. If you really can’t remember the number don’t worry, you won’t be held accountable for something you can’t remember.

Keeping track of the frequency helps you become aware of how bad your problems with that particular sin really are, and you are less likely to commit it as often. Much like counting calories helps people not eat as much then if they just try to cut back without keeping track.


#19

gardenswithkids

                         Thanks for your answer. Where do I get this examination of conscience booklet?

#20

[quote=DianJo]We understand that you are not Catholic so therefore you do not understand the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The question asked was not one on opinion.

Piety 101 was asking a specific question to the Catholics on the board. As a non-Catholic you should not be attempting to answer this question as it deals with something you are not familiar with.
It is not right of you to pass your OPINION off as an answer to her specific question on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

You are welcome to post your OPINION all day long but label it as such - an OPINION. When you become Catholic then you are welcome to answer specific questions on the sacraments.
[/quote]

excuse me…this forum is called “apologetics” thankyou,

Ceasar


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