My brothers and sisters in Christ,
I’d like to start by saying hello to everyone. I’m a new member here as you can tell and after a short period of lurking around this message board I’m very excited to have joined you all in discussing and thereby strengthening our faith. I have a few questions today, and I thank you all very much for any answers and advice in advance.
It’s been quite a while since I have gone to confession – roughly four years, I think. As a result, and also because of a couple of life events and the way things have gone subsequently (the details of which I won’t bore you with), I have committed many sins. Recently, a certain sin led to me feeling a lot of guilt, and I now have a great desire to go to confession very soon and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness. My questions stem from this recent event.
I would rather not tell my family and wife that I’d like to go to confession. I want to keep everything between God and myself. To do so, though, I may need to tell a small lie, such as telling them that I’m going to my university to study (I’m a student). Is this okay? As I said, I want to be forgiven by the Lord and I want to keep everything private between me and Him (through the priest, of course). Can I tell such a small lie since I mean no harm to anyone by it? Or would doing so be another sin and thus undermine my intention of confession and penance?
My uncertainty as to whether or not I can tell them a small lie to go to confession led me to miss an opportunity to go today, which is something I also feel guilty for now. I can go on Saturday but I wanted to go as soon as possible and I failed to do so. Do you guys think that this makes much of a difference in the Lord’s eyes? Is it sinful that I deferred my confession due to this uncertainty? Or does my firm resolution to go to confession very soon prevent this from being a sin? I don’t want to hurt my relationship with God anymore. I love Him and am truly contrite and remorseful for everything wrong I’ve done. I sincerely hope that I haven’t done even more wrong.
Is there any possibility that the priest will tell me to disclose any of my sins to my wife/family/etc.? Or is this against the vow that the priest takes never to allow anything said in the confessional to become public?
I’d like to thank you all again for any advice/answers/comments and I sincerely pray that Jesus blesses each of you and rewards you all for your faith both in this life and in the next.