Questions on Confession

I have several confession related questions:

  1. When in Confession and you confess all the sins you recall and ask for forgiveness of the sins you don’t remember, should you confess those sins if they are recalled to your memory at a later date?

  2. To tie into the question above, what if I left the Church for 11 years, and can’t remember if I confessed certain sins from my teenage years, should I confess them now if I don’t remember ever confessing them before, and if I did confess them before, but can’t remember, does that matter?

  3. Do you enjoy going to confession? For me, while I do enjoy the after affect, not feeling guilty anymore, I don’t find the act of confession comforting in the slightest. In fact, this weekend when I went to Confession, the Priest kind of laughed at me - in frustration maybe? Everytime I go to confession and have this particular priest, he is always the same. I mean, I can understand the frustration of listening to so many people saying the same things over and over, but where is the grace and forgiveness? His attitude in confession makes me hesitant or put off going. For instance, I missed Mass in June once. I haven’t received Holy Communion since and avoided going to confession because I kind of fear going to his confession. Then I go and he basically laughs when I tell him when I missed Mass and here it is end of July and I am just now confessing it.

The problem is, there isn’t a guarantee that there will be another priest at my church for confession at any given time, it is mainly this priest in particular.

My daughters ages 10 and 11 are going to be having their first confession real soon. I don’t want them to get this spirit of fear that I am getting so early. So, I am going to try my hardest to have them go to confession only with other priests, is this wrong of me?

Yes, particularly mortal sins.

If you’ve confessed everything you can think of, all your sins are forgiven. But if there’s a mortal sin you remember later you should bring it up at your next confession.

  1. To tie into the question above, what if I left the Church for 11 years, and can’t remember if I confessed certain sins from my teenage years, should I confess them now if I don’t remember ever confessing them before, and if I did confess them before, but can’t remember, does that matter?

Go ahead and confess them. You’ll have peace of mind from knowing they were confessed and absolved. But don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on what might have happened years ago. You want to live in the present, not the past.

  1. Do you enjoy going to confession? For me, while I do enjoy the after affect, not feeling guilty anymore, I don’t find the act of confession comforting in the slightest. In fact, this weekend when I went to Confession, the Priest kind of laughed at me - in frustration maybe? Everytime I go to confession and have this particular priest, he is always the same. I mean, I can understand the frustration of listening to so many people saying the same things over and over, but where is the grace and forgiveness? His attitude in confession makes me hesitant or put off going. For instance, I missed Mass in June once. I haven’t received Holy Communion since and avoided going to confession because I kind of fear going to his confession. Then I go and he basically laughs when I tell him when I missed Mass and here it is end of July and I am just now confessing it.

Do I enjoy going to confession? Not especially. I would like to think that I’m a perfect person and never do the awful things that other people do. It’s hard to admit that I’m not a perfect person. But I honestly do feel that when I go to confession, I meet Jesus there. I experience his love and his mercy, and that’s worth my discomfort.

As for a priest who laughs, well, I’ve never run into that. While I’m not a confrontational person, that’s one instance where I would be. I would tell the priest exactly what I said above, that I came to confession to experience Christ’s love, and that he isn’t being a channel of that love. I would also tell him that laughing at someone who is in a very vulnerable position is cruel and may drive people away from the sacrament.

Is there another church nearby where you could go to confession? Or could you make an appointment with another priest in your parish so you would know you wouldn’t run into Laughing Boy?

H

Hello Jol.1. If these sins are mortal and you remember them later you may feel better mentioning them the next time in confession, however, if you do forget and realize later, I’d say ask father about it, that is what he is there for.

2.Simply tell God through the Priest in the Confessional that you are sorry for all of the sins of your past life. I usually do that at the end also ,at the end ,I mention that I am sorry for my sins of omission.
3.We humans fall short of humility, so confessing up can make us nervous, so you are not alone in that.
If you are not comfortable with your confessor, find another one, you may have to go to a neighboring town, but you can do that and it certainly is not wrong.Jol, God bless you and your family:signofcross:Carlan

yes, yes, no (though I wish I could say yes)

I had a priest almost fall asleep and then he couldn’t remember the words of absolution! Well, he had had a long day and it was at the very end of a lenten penance service. But it was rather lowering to my self-esteem.:blush:

I don’t especially ENJOY it, but I don’t mind it. I am often nervous on the way, and for me the most difficult thing is opening the door to the confessional. But after that…

I can say that I have NEVER been treated unkindly by a priest in confession. There was a time, a few months ago, when my confessor laughed at something I said. I wasn’t trying to be funny and tried to explain myself further, but he assured me that he knew exactly what I meant (from first-hand experience, I’m sure) - just hadn’t heard it put that way before. I wasn’t offended.

There are too many priests out there who are good in the confessional - kind, gentle, encouraging - for you to spend time with one who’s gifts must lie elsewhere.

Agree with the first part of the sentence, not the second part. :slight_smile: Yes, the OP should definitely seek out a compassionate, helpful confessor: most are that. Nothing requires you to stay with one priest as a confessor. As to “gifts,” though – while some have a special gift, it is the requirement of all ministerial priests to learn to be an effective confessor in persona Christi; it’s essential to the priesthood, just as much as saying Mass. That’s why I like the idea that one or more posters said, to have the OP say something to the priest. Doesn’t need to be harsh or condemning, merely an indication that the penitent feels that it’s necessary to go to someone who is receptive and respectful. And before I would do that I would pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to say it in a way that the priest, then or later, will receive it as a nudge to improve in that area & seek the training and graces for that improvement. That would be constructive.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.