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Is it just me or does anybody else find it hard to go to confession? The thought of it just makes me clam up. I do not lead the perfect life by any means, but when I try and think about sins etc, I get very confused. I always try and pray at night and I am getting better, although I do have trouble with the Rosary. I think it is because I am easily distracted and do not give myself the time needed to reflect? 🙂
I agree. I started going once a month this year, and it isn’t getting much easier. I have found myself breaking some sinful habits though. There are a few things that I found to help. First is a good examination of conscience. If you don’t have one, I like the one at Secondly, I try to do an examination of conscience and act of contrition each night. The third is a free CD you can get at It’s done by Fr. Larry Richards and he is so excited and motivating. I listen to it every month before I go to confession. He has another CD called the Mass Explained which is also phenomenal.

But in the end it truly comes down to persistency in prayer and trust in God. Keep praying and doing the Lord’s will and you’ll get there.
Do you know and talk with the priest out side of confession?

In addition you may want to remember that confession is a gift from God to you and it is your right to go and confess. That being said there are times I am uncofortable going to confession but that is when I smile inside, as I know it is satan trying to confuse me to keep me from the Grace that is mine through and by Christ Jesus.

God bless and tell the other one to back off next time you head for the confessional.
Yes, I also find it difficult. I have a good priest who tries to listen and dole out penance to help you with your problems. (Having problems with a person at work, not being charitable, well tell that person three things that you appreciate about them in the normal course of life)

A good priest will help you move toward modifying your behavior or helping you to understand how to grow closer to God. It is a great gift, but God has never been accused of giving out great gifts with no work on our part. I believe it was St. Teresa who reportedly told God “It sure is hard to be your friend”. (I know that isn’t the right wording, but it is close in meaning.

God bless you and help you!

I find it uncomfortable at times, too. But I also find it easier to avoid my habitual sins the shorter the time since my last confession, so in that way, I am encouraged to go more often. I also find it easier now that I’ve found a priest whom I feel gives good advice on avoiding sin along with absolution.
I find the biggest barrier to going to confession is finding a priest who will hear it! In my parish the priest retired about a year ago. Since then we have had to share priests with another parish who was then transferred to yet another parish, replaced with a visiting priest from Africa, and we will have our 4th consecutive priest by the end of June. Confession is pretty much “by appointment” and the priest rushes around so much he’s practically in his care to drive to his next appointment or Mass before the closing hymn is finished.

We must continue to pray constantly for more priests.
Confession is certainly a lesson in humility! Don’t be discouraged. Pray for the grace to make a good confession! Give yourself some quiet time before you confess to put yourself at ease and to be able to make a thorough examination of conscience. It is helpful to have a regular confessor – the priest will be better able to detect patterns, tendencies or habits that you may be falling into that can cause you spiritual harm. As a practical matter, I usually end my confessions by uttering a prayer that goes like this “…and for all the sins of my past life, and for all of the sins that I have forgotten and/or failed to mention and for those I have concealed from my memory, I am truly sorry and beg for forgiveness and mercy”. Of course, this has to be truly heartfelt. Remember, you receive sacramental grace when you make a good confession! It is truly a wonderful and great sacrament. God bless.
I find the biggest barrier to going to confession is finding a priest who will hear it! In my parish the priest retired about a year ago. Since then we have had to share priests with another parish who was then transferred to yet another parish, replaced with a visiting priest from Africa, and we will have our 4th consecutive priest by the end of June. Confession is pretty much “by appointment” and the priest rushes around so much he’s practically in his care to drive to his next appointment or Mass before the closing hymn is finished.

We must continue to pray constantly for more priests.
This is hard and I like what you say. Sometimes we do not know what we have until it is gone. We have been so blessed here to have good priests and religious. Please Lord overlook our pride and bless us with an abundance of Priests.
I teach my First Penance children to please “remember that you are talking to Jesus, not the priest. Jesus uses the priest but He is the one we are confessing to.”

After His Resurrection, Jesus visited the Apostles in the upper room. He said “Peace be with you.” Then He breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit, Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven. Whose sins you shall retain are retained.” These are powerful words. The only other time God breathing on man is mentioned in the Bible is when He created Adam. Personally, this moves me very much to accepting this gift from God.

Confession is very humbling, but we must put aside our pride and think of it as another one of God’s gifts to us, to cleanse us so that we are able to receive Him in the Eucharist.
Heh, winding myself up to go to confession now. I found praying the litany of humility seems to help. Pride i think is a problem for me; the more humilty in my heart, the easier it is to go to confession. If I did the sins, I should own up not pretend to be something I am not. Pride wants to make me “more” (actually less) than who I am. Humility==truth.

I don’t know how spot on that is, but I thought I’d share my thoughts.
I find the same thing. It does not get easier, I found it makes you very humble. On EWTN, Fr Corapi has given advice on good confessions. He says to go thru the 10 commandments and that will help you see where you have sinned. That makes it a little easier that way. It is hard to remember what happened since your last confession, that is good advice to go once a month. 🙂
Last year was the first time I went to confession in many years and I can’t begin to tell you how hard it was. Slowly after that it has got a bit easier each time I go.

Often before I go in I’ll pray the Holy Spirit helps me to make a good confession. It isn’t until I make the few steps to the door before I go in do I start getting twinges in my tummy. :crying:

So far it has taken practice and lots of prayer not getting nervous.
Yeah, I find the hardest part is to feel like I’m doing it “right” :eek: . I’ve only been three times now, and at some point maybe I’ll feel like I have some idea what I’m doing. It’s such a wonderful experience though 😃 , even though I do always feel like maybe I’m wasting the priest’s time (since I have also found that knowing I have to go does a better job of keeping me on my toes than just the vague “not supposed to sin” does :rolleyes: ). It makes me more aware that not only am I “breaking rules” but that I am actually offending God. 😦

The examination of conscience is most important. Please read the one in the back of the Daily Roman Missal. It is excellent. Over time, you’ll get used to going over this list, and will become natural. Always ask a priest or some other GOOD reference whether something you feel uncomfortable with is sinful or not. Never remain in doubt, and never not tell a sin in the confessional. The absolution will not be valid. Tell all, and I mean all. Do not let pride get the best of you. Remember it is Christ there in the confessional, who, through the priest, absolves your sins, but it is up to you to verbally acknowledge them with a contrite heart, and ask for His forgiveness.

I also did not lead the most pure life, but I made it a point about a year ago to become a true catholic, and from making a mediocre confession once every year or two, I have been attending the Sacrament on a monthly basis the last six months. Is has made an incredible positive difference in my spiritual life, and the graces that come with the absolution are wonderful.

As far as the rosary, I would recommend going to perpetual adoration for one hour a week and praying five misteries and contemplating them, then read the Bible :bible1: for the remainder of the hour. You won’t have many distractions, and may be easier to concentrate. It’s a great way to visit your Lord, feel His presence, and pray.

In Christ,

Jorge. 😃
Pride, when it comes down to it, doesn’t matter. In fact, pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Overcome it. Defeat it. It wants to defeat you.

I’m a nervous type, and, as it happens, my job forces me to travel a lot. I have to fly about, let’s say, eight or nine times a year. Flying, to me, is a death-attracting experience. It may be irrational, but that’s just the way I am. I don’t care how proud I may be, the prospect of losing eternal life with Our Lord is about as nightmarish a thought as I have had. Before every business trip, I go to confession. In fact, over recent years, whether I’m traveling or not, I try to go to confession once a month, on First Saturday.

Frequent confession (if you can call once a month frequent) does have its drawbacks, however. I find myself confessing the same sins over and over. I feel like a hypocrite, as I told the priest in the confessional last week (before my latest trip).

But, I’ll tell you this much: The more you go to confession, the more aware of your vices you are and, perhaps, the better chance you have to moderate, if not altogether eliminate, them.

Confession is a supreme gift from God. Please take advantage of it.

And, pray the Rosary. Our Blessed Mother is a wonderful advocate who is just waiting for us to ask her for her intercessory power.
I also find confession difficult. I’m not confessing anything particularly terrible or embarassing, but I still burst into tears. The experience is too emotional or intense for me to stay calm. It’s very embarassing to me that this happens. I’m sure the priest would be happier if I could calm down. Does this happen to anyone else?
You are there to make God happy, not the priest. You are obviously sorrowful for your sins.
Some people are just more emotional that others, don’t worry about it.

I don’t think Confession should ever be easy or comfortable, sin is breaking off from God, it should hurt to admit that.
I avoided confession after a nasty comment from a priest (not in the confessional) when I was about 12. Oh, I did manage to go to the ubiquitous “Form 3 Communal Confessions” in the 1970s-80s before I discovered that they are not kosher, so to speak.

Thirty(!) years after my last “good confession” I was at Mass and I suddenly felt a great yearning to confess three decades of sin to a priest then and there. After Mass was done I practically assaulted the priest in my great excitement to receive the sacrament of confession properly.

He was a kind and gentle man and was truly happy to be the one to hear 30 years’ worth of the burden I had dragged around with me. What a blessing! And LOTS of crying went on in that confessional! (Thank goodness my parish keeps boxes of Kleenex in there!)

Now I look forward to going, and I always go to the same priest who knows my failings and who is a wonderful confessor.

To prepare, I sit in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the hour before confessions begin, and I also do an in-depth examination of conscience (the one by Father James Socias in his book *A Handbook of Prayer * – it is the same examination that Scott Hahn uses in his book Lord Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession. An examination of conscience is essential and makes things so much easier for you and for the priest.

I find going to confession difficult too. One problem I have is that in my nervousness, once I am in the confessional and begin to speak, my mind goes blank. :eek: No matter how much time I have taken before hand, my thoughts disappear. This is very similar to the problem I have with public speaking.

I think I know the way out of this, but just have not put it into practice – frequent regular confession to the same confessor. Just what many of you have been saying.
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