What do I do if I'm scared of confession?


I don’t know why, but I always seem to be terrified of reconciliation. I never feel as if I am conducting myself in the correct manner. I feel lost and anxious. I also am scared to use the correct terminology of my sins on occasion. I don’t think the word(s) used to describe the acts are speakable. Am I alone? Should I just come out and say things bluntly? (I don’t want to the priest to feel as if I do not respect or own up to my actions.)


It sounds as if you might be dealing with a form of scrupulosity, which is, generally speaking, a fear of sin where no sin exists. In your case, it sounds as though you are so concerned that you get your confession “right” that you find yourself frightened to confess at all.

I recommend that you ask your pastor to recommend a spiritual director and/or confessor who has experience in dealing with scrupulosity. A good and balanced spiritual director and confessor can help you work through your scruples.

Recommended reading:

Understanding Scrupulosity by Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R.

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