Let me share this with you… When I was growing up, I had terrible experiences in going to confession. I would be tied up in knots, never sure I was telling everything… very scrupulous. I was miserable.
I stopped going to confession… Finally in the last couple of years, I seem to have discovered my spirituality again. I went to my priest who sent me to the local monastery and I was given one of the monks as spiritual director.
In order not to get back into scrupulous mode, I decided to confess in a different way. My spiritual director understands what I am trying to avoid and is very supportive.
When I confess (I have asked to end each appointment with the Sacrament of Reconciliation), I speak directly to God and tell God what my sins/failings are and that I am sorry. Then I ask God to speak to me through this priest. (That simple change has been a wonderful help for me). I believe my spiritual director recognizes also that I see him as God’s voice to me. When he tells me to make an act of contrition, I do so in my own words.
You say that you went to confession with your usual confessor. So he knows your usual sins, which you must have committed, over and over again! a good spiritual director will tell you the truth, and if it takes a slap in the face, to wake us up,then so be it. While asleep we are not conscious of what’s going on, and can drift into all sorts of degrading fantasies, which will lead us straight to hell. And the priest too, if he placates us, and doesn’t wake us up. He is there, so that Jesus can use him to speak to us. What comes into his mind when we confess, is what Jesus wants to say to us through him? If you go on as you are, then you are never going to get closer to the Lord, which is the whole point to life. I remember going to my spiritual director for direction. After spilling my heart out about my weaknesses, and how hard I Was trying to reach God. I also explained that each time I thought I getting closer to the Lord, that’s time I would fall from the top of the ladder to the bottom, through the weakness of my human nature. He said, you kneed humility Matt. I left there thinking to my self, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he can’t of heard me, I said to my self, I won’t go to him again! Thinking about it all the way home. That night I couldn’t sleep, I went over it, again and again in my mind. Then all at once it came to me, I remembered the state of sin I was in, when I first cried out to the Lord. And how,through his Holy Mother, he had reached down to me, and given me such great encouragements, which I did not, deserve. He dragged me out of that pit of hell, which I was in. At that moment, I realised that I was now [standing] in the presents of the Lord. Asking why? After all these years, he had not made me holy, or perfect. I had come from one begging, on his knees, to one standing asking why? God hadn’t jumped to my attention. Somewhere along the line, I had began to think of myself as being somebody. The moral of all this is, that when the Lord reproves us, it’s to let us see our selves as we really [are] not as we think we are. When this happens, we will plead, all the more earnestly, for the grace to change.
Oh that to day, you would listen to his voice, harden not your hearts.