I love my Catholic faith, but as a convert from Lutheranism, I really struggle with Confession. I have been to Reconciliation a handful of times since converting in 2017. Some experiences have been okay, some have been good, and others I felt like I didn’t get anything out of it. It was just something so foreign to me, since I was always taught to go directly to God through prayer to confess my sins. Does God not forgive my mortal sins if I do not go to Confession, even if I confess to Him during prayer? I have read many articles on this, but I still struggle. I know I cannot be the only one with these struggles. Again, I love Catholicism and respect the Church. I want to better understand the Sacrament and make use of the Confessional more often, but I find myself backing out every time because I feel so uncomfortable.
God might forgive them, but you won’t know for sure.
Remember, Jesus was the one who created the Sacarment of Confession.
We we sin, we don’t only hurt our relationship with God, but we hurt the relationship we have with the Body of Christ.
It also takes a bit more humility to confess our sins to God through a priest. A dose of humility is always good for us, and Jesus knew it.
Finally, when we sin, it’s very good for us to hear that we are forgiven and sometimes we really need to hear advise from the priest.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a priest say something to be about my sins & life and I’m thinking to myself “wow - he just described me to a T.”
Sometimes I come out of Confession feeling the love of Christ l, sometimes I come out feeling enlightened or hopeful regarding by battle against sin, and other times I simply get a dose of humility.
Each experience is different, but if you still struggle, just remember Jesus gave us Confession for a reason.
The way to heaven is humility. Confession is a wonderful way to learn humility…have you ever though that a lack of humility is keeping from confession? I mean no offence by this question. I struggle with a lack of humility myself this is way I recognise it’s value in confession. Having to say your failings out loud to Jesus (who is there in the priest - do remember that bit - the priest is in the person of Christ in the confessional as in the mass) is a humbling experience. Remember also how Jesus humbled himself, taking the form of a tiny human and put himself trustingly here on earth and died for you. So a little act of humility on your part is a nice gift for him. Ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to go with you so it is easier for you. God bless you.
it will take some getting used to.
I used to tell myself the same thing, that I could just confess directly to God, but ultimately, deep down, it wa sort of a cop out for me, there was a part of me that relaly didn’t want a real person to hear my sins, so it was just easier to tell myself that.
This is what stood out to me.
I am a convert, but, it was back before the internet. I had the advice of people around me.
Now, that is amplified with online forums, blogs etc.
The common advice is like this “you will be nervous, but, after Confession you will feel like a new person! A weight will fall off your shoulders! You will walk out of that box on a cloud! Rainbows and candy floss and kittens all at once!!!”
Some people receive these sorts of emotional consolations. Other people, like me, have felt that exactly ONE time (and it was NOT during my first confession but years later). I feel akward and embarrassed (if I had to go face to face) and I just want to go say my penance and get out of there pronto.
Confession keeps me humble. Although, so do all of the crosses and burdens of this life, but I figure that God knows better and maybe without all of this I would be the worst person on earth!
There is a good series on Formed.org called “Forgiven”. If your parish does not give parishioners a subscription, you can get a free trial. I have facilitated it as a group study and some people did get a lot out of it. It is well worth the watch.
If you are super pragmatic, like me, just grit your teeth and do it. For me, developing a long term confessor relationship with one priest helps. He knows me, knows my big struggles and my personality.
Maybe it’s not just about receiving forgiveness but overcoming them. Telling them to someone else is like getting on top of them. You have nothing to hide. Some protestants (Pentecostals) use plain confession from one person to the other. The Church offers more - the ability of the priest to untie you from them,.so they no longer haunt you and you can discover more about God. Plus Confession is a mystery.
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