Oh My - Never been to confession before


#1

I am shaking in my skin.

Tomorrow is my first confession since baptism 17 years ago.

I may die from fright!!!

I maybe there for the next 17 years getting all I have done out.

Boy am I scared

Scared


#2

relax, take a deep breath and let the Spirit guide you.


#3

[quote=scared]I am shaking in my skin.

Tomorrow is my first confession since baptism 17 years ago.

I may die from fright!!!

I maybe there for the next 17 years getting all I have done out.

Boy am I scared

Scared
[/quote]

No sweat - we’ve all been there (they don’t call me Philthy for nothin’)! I strongly recommend the “face to face” encounter rather than hiding behind the curtain. Get it all off your chest too - he’s heard it all before, and then some! If you have forgotten the format, no biggie - there will be a card in there for you and he will guide you through it - there really isn’t much other than to say, “Bless me for I have sinned”. After he prays with you and asks for your confession go over your sins(make a list and bring it with you - you won’t regret it:thumbsup: ) He will discuss some things with you and ask for your “Act of Contrition” You can say the “standard” prayer, or you can basically express your remorse to God for having sinned against him; commit to intending not to sin and to avoid the near occasions of sin by virtue of the grace that God gives us; acknowledge that Jesus suffered and died for your sins and beg, in His name, for forgiveness.

Phil


#4

just let it all out, say everything you can think of…in fact, maybe write a list tonight so you don’t forget everything…really make a contrite confession, and know that if you are truly contrite, you are already forgiven, because Jesus loves you…warning, you may cry, it has happened to me numerous times now.


#5

[quote=scared]I am shaking in my skin.

Tomorrow is my first confession since baptism 17 years ago.

I may die from fright!!!

[/quote]

Consider this: according to the teaching of the Church (Summa), enduring the shame is part of what contributes to the remission of your punishment. That is actually a good deal, you know?

Console yourself that you are positioning yourself to avoid the terrible denial below:

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

So make sure you mention everything you can even remotely think of, and let yourself be known for who you have been and who you are. For when you reveal to the doctor your problems, he can heal your problems. But when you hide them, they remain.

hurst


#6

[quote=scared]I am shaking in my skin.

Tomorrow is my first confession since baptism 17 years ago.

I may die from fright!!!

I maybe there for the next 17 years getting all I have done out.

Boy am I scared

Scared
[/quote]

:tiphat:

As everyone else has said make a list, it will be very worth it. I too (2 years ago) went to confession for the first time in 15 or so years and was so nervous I nearly puked. I came out sobbing like a baby but felt like the world was lifted off my shoulders :thumbsup:

Good luck and may Jesus be with you! God bless.


#7

What a wonderful testimony. Today I taught my students about the 100 sheep and 1 was lost and all the shepherd did to get that lamb back. When I read this I thought of that parable and what a beautiful gift your soul is to Christ.


#8

Here’s a few points to consider:

There’s not much, if anything, you can tell a priest that he hasn’t already heard so many times already. In fact, some of the most embarassing sins we can commit, are likely among the most frequently dealt with.

No matter how miserable you should ever feel about a sin, never despair as a result - it’s not like you are telling God something he doesn’t already know when you walk into the confessional. He loved you before you sinned, when you were sinning, and after you sinned. Always love Him back through the use of this Sacrament when you are with the stain of mortal sin. Never hurt Him by receiving Holy Communion before you have reconciled with Sacramental Confession.

Always love God back by acting on graces. The mere desire to go to confession is a grace from God and when we humble ourselves to confess our sins with a contrite heart, we show our love for God.

God was “smart” in knowing that many sins are rooted in pride and having to confess our sins to another person, the priest, is an act of humility, which counters pride. There may be many acts of humility within a single confession. This is not the same as humiliation, but a matter of being humble.

God was also “smart” in that he knew just how it would heal us and make us desire holiness if we committed this simple act of humility on a regular basis. If you go frequently, you will soon find that mortal sin becomes less and less, and then you desire to root out venial sins in confession. Trust me, Catholics who use the confessional at least monthly, and more often to build virtue, do not need Dr. Phil.


#9

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t feel comfortable with your priest. Continue to give him a try if you are uncertain about how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with him the first couple of times…If you find you don’t feel comfortable, move on till you find someone who receives you well and really listens. Try to stick to one priest…this way he gets to know you. I like the priest I see so much I brought him oven fresh Italian bread today.
The point is you should feel a certain degree of comfort in your experience. It really is possible. :yup:

One more thing…
Don’t let too much time go between confessions…it sure is hard to get back in the habit. I know that from experience.


#10

Thank you all:

I am still shaking in my skin. As far as the priest hearing everything, well he hasn’t been a parish priest long, so I hope I don’t scare him too much.

Lux_et_veritas Dr, Phil just isn’t working for me.

I have made a list of all my mortal sins. If I do Veinal sins I will be there forever.

Maybe when I come back I can change my name to less scared.

scared


#11

[quote=scared]Thank you all:

I am still shaking in my skin. As far as the priest hearing everything, well he hasn’t been a parish priest long, so I hope I don’t scare him too much.

[/quote]

Remember he is a priest at point B
He came from point A and chances are he heard plenty outside the confessional between points A and B. Everything isn’t heard in the confessional.


#12

[quote=Philthy]No sweat - we’ve all been there (they don’t call me Philthy for nothin’)! I strongly recommend the “face to face” encounter rather than hiding behind the curtain.
[/quote]

No way! First confession can be difficult enough. Most people are more comfortable with anonymity. The Church actually prefers you to confess behind the screen anonymously.
So if you would like to go face-to-face, go ahead, but if you would rather do it anonymously, then by all means go behind the screen! The Church affords you the right to go behind the screen if you want to. And it isn’t just “hiding behind the curtain”; there are many good reasons for doing it this way.
Scared, don’t worry. The priest has heard every sin, and often. They don’t remember the sins they heard in confession either. It’s a wonderful experience. Your first confession is the hardest, but you will feel great afterwards! Write out the mortal sins you can remember and approximately how many times you committed them (it’s your first confession so you can be very general, as in “I have committed this sin many times” or “I do this regularly.” If you have any venial sins you struggle with, confess those to if you like (i.e., "I have a habit of impatience, anger, gossip, etc.) The best advice I’ve ever heard about confession is “Be brief, be blunt, and begone.” All the angels and saints in heaven are rejoicing. God bless.


#13

Start off by telling the priest that this is your first confession. He will then almost certainly very gently and kindly guide you through what is required.

Also remember if you feel in any way “put off” by the personality of a certain priest, you are free to choose ANY priest you wish to hear your confession.


#14

Other people are giving great advice for what to do to prepare, so I’ll stick to some general encouragement.

Confession is definately hard at first, and sometimes it’s still hard, but I have to say that in many ways it’s my favorite Sacrament outside of the Eucharist. I know that nothing compares to leaving the Confessional and receiving the Eucharist again. It’s like taking a nice, hot shower: it burns a bit, but you feel so clean afterwards. Then receiving the Eucharist is like slipping into a nice, soft bathrobe and relaxing afterwards.

Try not to focus on the guilt and shame, focus on the cleansing. You are becoming a better person in the Confessional, during your Confession. God’s Grace is growing in you when you Confess, as you clear away the weeds in your soul that were choking it. Receiving the Eucharist afterwards is like fertilizing and watering that Grace, allowing it to grow exponentially.

Remember that you are God’s little garden, and He has planted every seed within you. Take pride in the weeding that you are about to do; His gift to you is that you get to both enjoy that garden, and help it grow. Confession is just part of God’s work for you.

Peace and God bless!


#15

Here’s a thought of encouragement:

Every sin begins with a lie. In Confession, Christ dissolves the lies we’ve said, lived and thought by us saying the truth.

God bless your first confession Scared. You will be cleansed as pure as your baptism day.

in XT.


#16

As I tell my wife “Confession - go early and often” to paraphrase Mayor Daley. 17 years isn’t bad, try 36. First two confessions were F2F now behind the screen. I still make a list of sins a day or two in advance. I love going early, seriously about a half hour before it starts to reflect and pray. I love it when its just you and Christ in church.

This is my most necessary sacrament without it is nothing, no eucharist.

Started out going once a year, then once every other month, then once a month, then as often as I read, now about 3 out of four weekends a month.


#17

May God bless you! I wasn’t in the same situation you were in but I used to withhold embarassing mortal sins not knowing that you needed to confess them for your confession to be valid. Eventually, I made a general confession (confessing all mortal sins in my life by kind and approximate number) and felt a lot better since. My faith has grown abundantly since.

Some advice: You must confess all unconfessed mortal sins that you remember by kind and (approximate) number for you confession to be valid. Don’t think you need an exact number for your confession to be valid. Think of it more like going to the doctor to be healed. If you’ve had migraines for the past six months there’s a difference if you had them almost daily or almost weekley. If you confess to a priest that you’ve been viewing pornographic movies you don’t need to give him an exact combined running time of all the films you’ve viewed for your confession to be valid (unless for some bizarre reason you have such a number). Saying that you’ve viewed about two or three pornographic movies a week for about the past four years (or saying something like around 1500 pornographic films) should be sufficent. The same thing with pornographic images. Giving an approximate number of images (around 5,000) or viewing habit (for about five years spent between a half an hour to an hour daily viewing pornographic images) should be sufficent. Also, any mitigating circumstances need to be confessed. For example, stealing $100 from Bill Gates is different than stealing $100 from the Chruch. So if you stole from the Church, that would have to be confessed.

Now, God doesn’t expect you to be perfect and confess sins as if you’re a computer printing out numbers. Just do your best to confess all mortal sins you remember by kind and (approximate) number to receive valid absolution. After you receive absolution ALL YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! If you get in your car and suddenly remember something that you forgot, it is forgiven! The only thing that can drive out sanctifying grace is another mortal sin. Remembering a mortal sin you forgot to confess will not put you back into a state of mortal sin. Just bring up any remembered mortal sins at your next confession. Receive Holy Communion as long as you are in a state of sanctifying grace. However, do not start looking back to see if you confessed everything. Accept that God has forgiven you and if a past mortal sin pops into your mind just bring it up at your next confession.

Also, I highly recommend the Divine Mercy Devotion:
ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/

and praying three Hail Mary’s in the morning and evening to preserve you from mortal sin during the day:
catholic-church.org/grace/marian/3-hail-marys.htm

One last thing: you need a firm purpose of amendment for your confession to be valid. For example, if you’ve been having an affair for the past three months and go into confession thinking “I’ll confess it but I don’t want to stop it and I’m not going to try to stop it” then the confession would not be valid. If however you go into confession thinking “I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop having the affair but I’m sorry for having it and am going to try to stop having it” that would suffice.


#18

Hi All:

Thank you for your encourgement.

Well, it is done. An no I am no less scared than before. I have a hugh headache, still shaking like a leaf, but know that it is done, I tried my best. He didn’t guide me through it I kind of stumbled, but got to the end. I know I am forgiven,have done my penance, and did I get off light, but he knows my circumstances. I did forget a couple, which hopefully before the next 17 years goes by I will beable to do.

scared


#19

[quote=hilde the dog]As I tell my wife “Confession - go early and often”
[/quote]

:yup:


#20

[quote=scared]I am shaking in my skin.

Tomorrow is my first confession since baptism 17 years ago.

I may die from fright!!!

I maybe there for the next 17 years getting all I have done out.

Boy am I scared

Scared
[/quote]

Haha! :rotfl:

This is EXACTLY how I felt before my 1st Confession a couple weeks ago! Take a look: forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=85609

Believe me, it’s not THAT bad! I’m not afraid to go in now and tell the priest my sins. I try to go to Confession every week (which is a good excuse to go visit our Lord in the Eucharistic Adoration)


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