I tend to go to confession only when I HAVE to (usually every 6-8 months). I really want to get into the habit of going much more often (every 2-4 weeks or so). Do you have any tips for getting into this habit? I keep telling myself I need to do it, but always put it off!
I think a good way is if you can find a church that offers confession before the sunday / sat vigil mass, and so therefore as you go to mass you don’t have to make a separate trip for confession. Also, if you can find a church that offers confession many times during the week is handy so whatever you’re doing you can fit it into your schedule.
St. Padre Pio recommends weekly Confession. Considering that these words come from a man of remarkable holiness, who spent over 15 hrs a day in the confessional, I’m sure he has some good reasons for suggesting this! I find it helps to set a particular day and time for confession, then stick to it; before long, this profitable habit will become easy and even joyful.
Our Lord reminded St. Faustina that when we go to Confession, He is there. When we place our faith in Him, He is pleased to guide us through His priests. The same was revealed to St. Veronica Giuliani.
Frequent confession of venial sins is an age old and very good practice. Different persons can decide differently as to how frequent. It could be say weekly, or monthly or every other week …*(some have gone even daily --and not out of any scrupulosity).
It is a wonderful and great Sacrament.
A tip would be to take slowly the following…
1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful (scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm)
The first thing is to figure out where you’ll be going and note the time, i.e. your parish priest hears confessions at 4 P.M. till 5 P.M. every Saturday and** then clear your schedule **so that you have NOTHING ELSE TO DO at that time every week. Seems the simplest place to start. If your schedule cannot be arranged to suit whatever time your local parish priest is available, there are other places you can go. Check the masstimes.org website. They usually list confession times too.
Greetings in The Faith and all peace be with you. Since confession is a sacrament delivered for reconciliation after sin it would reason to say that the less we have to go for confession the better. However, for those who strive for holiness, we know that, like those great saints before us, we become MORE aware of our sinfulness as we become closer to God. As we draw nearer to the light of his purity it illuminates the stains of our flesh more deeply. So then, while not having to go to confession is good, perhaps it is also good to always go to confession because that we are rooting out more and more sinfulness as we grow in grace. So my advice is to seek to recognize your sins more fully, or yourself more fully I should say, so that, having recognized some new sin in your heart, confession will no longer be a choice but rather a necessity. Unless you don’t mind not receiving The Blessed Sacrement…which is crazy to think I know. Almost comical. So like myself, I had an argument with my mother last night and I feel that I dishonored her greatly. So then, feeling like I may have commited a sin, though perhaps not mortal as I did it unintentionally, I must needs go to confession tomorrow to speak with my priest regarding dishonoring our parents and what is my ultimate responsibility and where is the line of sin. So then in this way we learn and grow in our faith so much more quickly than if we just shrug of this thing or that and skip confession.
Be well and God bless you -
It’s kind of like going to the gym. You have to keep a regular schedule and sacrifice other things in your schedule.
The best thing to do is to put together a list of all the times for Confession at all the local churches. Then from that put together your own schedule. If you happen to miss one, refer back to the schedule and see when the next available time is.
The problem with 2-4 weeks is that it’s just rare enough for you to easily forget. Maybe start with something even more frequent like once a week. Then after you get in the habit of going regularly, you’ll see the spiritual life blossom.
If you haven’t already, you should get the book “Frequent Confession” by Benedict Baur. Awesome book that explains the beauty of frequent confession.
Anyone who thinks they only have to go to confession every six months needs to examine their conscience better, and quite frankly, more frequently.
Every six months is an acceptable practice in the Church.
If one does not have mortal sins one may seek forgiveness in many varied ways.
I would highly recommend though more frequent confession
We struggle with such “daily sins” …well ~ * daily.* Those venial sins that happen daily.
One need not (not good to wait) -wait Confession to seek forgiveness (though let us go often!). Though it is very recommended that one goes to confession frequently (see the Catechism and all good that this brings).
It is important to repent quickly.
Venial sins are forgiven in many ways -acts of perfect or even imperfect contrition, prayer, reading Sacred Scripture, the Mass, Holy Communion, the prayerful use holy water, other sacramentals, little short prayers during the day, acts of love etc
I will add a related section of the Catechism:
From the Catechism:
1436 Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.”
1437 Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.
Let us pray the Our Father as St. Augustine spoke of being prayed for such daily venial sins …“forgive us our trespasses…”
Indeed in the early Church such was often prayed three times a day. A wonderful practice that my family follows.
CCC The first communities prayed the Lord’s Prayer three times a day, in place of the “Eighteen Benedictions” customary in Jewish piety. scborromeo.org/ccc/p4s2a1.htm
That being said:
Frequent confession of venial sins is an age old and* very good practice*. Different persons can decide differently as to how frequent. It could be say weekly, or monthly or every other week …*(some have gone even daily --and not out of any scrupulosity).
It is a wonderful and great Sacrament.
1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm
I’ve got an idea that might help you: instead of focusing on going every two to four weeks, which can be hard to keep track of, try going to Confession once a month until you get into the habit of it. If your parish offers confessions before Mass, get into the habit of arriving 20 minutes early or something. Once you have gotten used to monthly confession, start going every two weeks. But make sure your commitment is firm to begin with, because a half-hearted attempt never lasts long.
This may sound silly, but I schedule my confessions with my haircut schedule (every 4-6 weeks), unless I am aware of being in moral sin…but, my other driver is my wife…she doesn’t nag, and she isn’t pushy, but she knows if I am “past due”, because I am much easier to get along with after receiving the peace that comes with the sacramental grace of reconciliation.
Peace and all good!
Although I receive the sacrament fairly often, I think that perhaps your contention is painting with a broad brush.
We all sin (and probably quite often), but mortal sin, to those consciously striving to walk in faith, is not always that frequent an event.
Granted, the sacrament can and should be received for venial sin, those earnestly and liberally practicing the faith may only require the sacrament once a year, because of the precept to confess at least once yearly, and not necessarily to be absolved of a mortal sin.
Peace and all good!
If you are honestly trying to do what is right, and pray, etc. what kind of sins would a person typically be bringing up? My life is kind of dull.
The best way to do it is to plan to do it, and schedule it, then do it. Schedule your examination of conscience, about an hour so you can make a devotion out of it and do it completely. Pray to the Holy Spirit and your guardian angel to enlighten your mind to make you see your sins. Go to confession when it’s scheduled. Make it into a devotion. Start small with going every month. When that becomes a habit, start going every two weeks. When that becomes a habit, start going every week. But…don’t let this become routine for you that you get sloppy in examining your conscience and going to confession.
A dull life doesn’t mean we don’t sin. A thorough examination of conscience always reveals more sins than I though I had.
I don’t think weekly is too much for anyone. Why would anyone not go.
What works for me is etching something down in ink. If you don’t have a journal, I strongly recommend at least keeping a planner. And don’t be vague about it either, like writing down “Go to Confession more often”. Actually write down a date and time, each week (or however more frequent you want to do it), and write down to give yourself some open time beforehand to examine yourself. When you’ve accomplished your desired task, revisit your planner at night and take note of it. Keep this planner / journal in a place near your bed where it will get in the way, such as on your reading stand, at the foot of your bed, on your pillow, etc.
The wonderful thing about edifying habits is that they work the exact same way sinful habits do, except that they usually have to be pro-actively sought after, rather than simply being fallen into. If you can go through the initial hump of getting it ingrained into you, you’ll reach a point where it will become intuitive to do it. 96% of rocket fuel is used at take-off.
God bless and I pray you well on your endeavor.
I do go to confession weekly. When I came back to the church about 8 years ago I started out by going to confession every couple of months. Then it became monthly. That was OK for a while but I gradually felt called to go more frequently until it became weekly. Only once in a great while do I skip a week now.
To go weekly I have to set aside at least a dedicated half hour for my examination of conscience and to write my list of sins - yes, I go with a list every week - the night before or the day of my confession. I spend this time either at home or in our parish’s adoration chapel. This isn’t the only time I spend examining my conscience during the week but it is dedicated time I spend with the Holy Spirit to guide me in seeing how I have failed.
I suggest that in order to develop this habit, as with any habit, you just do it. At the very least, start with monthly confession. Commit to it and do it, every month. If you commit to the first Saturday and miss it, go on the second Saturday that month and go on the first Saturday the next month. No excuses. Just do it.
I go the first Saturday of the month and put it on the calendar like I would make any other important event and stick to it. I schedule around this and it helps me to be consistent.
I have found that the more often I go, the more often I desire to go. When I first returned to confession after a 10 year gap, I was determined to go once a year. After a while, I started to go more frequently, maybe once a quarter. I started to go once every 4-6 weeks after that, but I was noticing that I would forget things, or that my sense of sin, or feeling its sting was diminished if I waited that long. Now I go approximately every 2-3 weeks, or if the opportunity presents itself, sometimes more often.
I’m really shy, and confession is very difficult for me. I used to stand in line and pray for the grace to stay there instead of ducking out before my turn came up. One of the things that helped me tremendously was to find a regular confessor, whom I have gotten to know well. I find that I am more comfortable, and also that I get more out of confession because I have the benefit of good advice from someone who knows my struggles.
I think the best advice, though, it to just do it. If you have an appointment with yourself for confession, it will “force” an examination of conscience. The more often you examine your conscience and confess your sins, the more deeply God will let you see into your own soul, which will cause you to seek confession more often.