April 01: The Light Is On

Day 28

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Most people who are sick go to the doctor. Not all of them, right? Fascinating, isn’t it? Some people can be really, really sick, but they won’t go to the doctor. And I don’t mean sick with a cold. (Hey, it’ll pass.) Some people will be really, really sick, and they know they’re really sick and they know it’s getting worse, but for whatever reason they won’t go to the doctor.

I think spiritually, we often fall into that category. It’s like we know we’re sick, we know we need healing, we know we’re sinners, we know we need forgiveness, but we won’t go to confession. It’s staggering; it’s fascinating to me.

I love confession. I think that it’s genius, not only spiritually, but also psychologically, because sin is sort of a sad thing. It just makes us sad. Sin is a heavy thing, and we carry it around with us. I love being able to go to confession and just drop all that stuff off—feel light, feel free, feel like you have a fresh start.

I love fresh starts. I love a new year. I love a new month. I love fresh starts, and you know what I realized? I need a fresh start a lot. I need a clean slate. I need a fresh start. I get myself into all sorts of trouble, and I just need a new start.

There’s something really powerful, there’s something really practical, something really beautiful about just coming to confession and saying, “Hey God, this is who I am, this is what I did, this is what I thought, this is what I didn’t do that I should’ve done. Let’s try again, and give me more grace, and give me more strength, and give me more courage.” And then back out we go.

It’s a beautiful thing, I think, to see the light on in the confessional. The light’s on; God’s waiting for you. And it may have been a long, long time, but I know you’ll kick yourself for not having gone a long, long time ago.

If it’s something that’s regular for you, this is a great time to make a great confession, to make an extraordinary confession, to take a deeper look at your life, to go maybe a little deeper than you have in the past, and say, “OK. I’m gonna come before God. I put myself before God and ask him to give me a fresh start.” I think that’s a thing of beauty. That is a beautiful thing.

“Be gentle with yourself, be gentle with others, and never stop striving to be all that God created you to be: the-very-best-version-of-yourself.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.

Focus

We all have a great need for forgiveness and healing.

Act

No matter how long it has been, go to Reconciliation this week.

Pray

Jesus, help me break through resistance and go to confession. Help me to be gentle yet honest, and help me to accept the healing you want to give me.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Melissa Zuk. Melissa is our social media coordinator, coming to us from Chillicothe, Ohio. Melissa is a former rugby player, enjoys knitting and sewing, and recently had her first baby!

How have you found healing in confession?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Michael Baur

    I’m not going lo lie. I have not been to confession in a long time but when I did go to confession. I felt like my burden was lift off my shoulders.

  • Darren Guido

    I, too, get nervous prior to going to Reconciliation… embarrassed because I am going to tell another human being what I’ve done wrong. But then, when I am in the confessional and begin my prayer, that feeling changes. I realize that the priest is the intermediary between me and God and that I am talking to The Father and letting Him know what I’ve done wrong and asking for forgiveness. After hearing that I am forgiven, I always leave the confessional feeling renewed… like a burden has been lifted.

    • Doug

      I once committed a sin that caused me a lot of heartache knowing that to be forgiven I was going to have to tell the priest and humble myself. I was scared to death. Once absolved and just prior to leaving the confessional the priest told me that he loved me. I knew that was Jesus speaking through him.

  • Jim Ziegler

    When I was younger I sinned really bad.When my dad was alive we would go to confession once a month.The last time I went I did it face to face.I didn’t want to hide behind something.Now it has been years since I have gone.I really want to sit down with the priest to help me with confession.I just keep putting it off because of the shame that I feel.I get mad at myself everytime I keep putting it off.I would love to get this burden lifted.Is this a normal feeling?

    • Mclose

      Dear Jim,
      Of course it is normal!! People who go to confession all the time still struggle with the same exact feelings. The devil does not want us to go to confession. He does not want us to receive grace. He wants us to feel badly about ourselves because he knows that that puts a wedge between us and God. Do not allow the devil to do that any longer. I urge you to go to confession today!! It is the greatest thing you can do for yourself!! I will be praying very specifically for you today that God will grant you the grace to make a good, thoughtful confession. God bless you and remember God is waiting for you, Jim.

      • Anne L

        You can receive Gods grace and mercy without going to formal confession. God is not a strict taskmaster,who doesn’t forgive us if we don’t say our sins in a box, HE IS a ever loving and forgiving God,who forgives if we confess on our couch, it is our intent behind the confession,and our desire to change. God knows our heart and mind always.

        • Angela

          Of course we have God’s grace and mercy always; it is the gift he gives is through his Son, Christ Jesus. Would you prefer to receive a gift through the mail or in person, from the giver? Picture the joy you have in a moment of gift-giving, both as receiver and those times when you are blessed to be the giver! Within the Sacrament of Reconciliation we go directly to Jesus, through the priest en persona Christi, in the person of Christ. Christ gives us the gift of God’s grace and mercy and we receive it from Him there! The priest is simply the vehicle. Resisting the sacrament truly is resisting happiness, resisting God’s outstretched arms. Let us go and receive our gifts! God is waiting there to share in the joy of the exchange with us!

        • Bob Krumm

          The gist of the matter is that the priest can you give you direction and advice. I know I have greatly benefited from such advice and feel better equipped to handle a particular problem.

        • Connie

          For mortal sins confession is required.

        • Uduak Akpan

          Anne L, I have always loved the story of the prodigal son, or the prodigal father, as some theologians have called him. It is a simple story we all know. When the second son repented, it was not enough for him to come to the realization that he had deeply hurt his father by his actions. He still returned home, and although his father ran to him, with tears in his eyes and and loving embrace, his son still looked at him and said ‘Father I have sinned, I am no longer worthy to be caled your son, take me as one on your hired servants.’

          So it is with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. First we think about our sins, we follow these thought by action – we go to the Priest and speak to him, ending the process with absolution from God Himself, through the words of the Priest.

          May God bless us all, always.

        • Joyce W.

          Anne, I’ve heard the same viewpoint from protestants and it is true that we need to keep a short account with God by confessing daily to Him. However, I do believe that the Sacrament of Reconciliation (it is a sacrament), is a powerful way to confront our own weaknesses by acknowledging them before the priest, who is, after all, acting in the person of Christ, not as himself. It is humbling to voice our misdoings to another and exhilarating to hear the words of absolution which come direct from God, via His emissary, the priest. God bless.

        • Dori

          Anne,

          I work with several people who are not Catholic and do not understand our going to confession. I explain to them that I first go to God with each of my sins telling Him how sorry I am. I then go to confession. I tell them of my experiences where i received healing or advice or even a penance to pray for someone. When my brother was sick and dying, the priest helped encourage me go to see him.

      • Jim Ziegler

        Thank you for pushing me.I went today.

    • Kate McLoud

      I had a similar experience, it took me years but I finally confessed and the priest was really great about it. I felt infinitely better after receiving absolution.

      Whenever I go to confession, I try to keep in mind that no matter what I might say in confession the priest has probably heard it before and worse.

      I’ll say a prayer that you get the courage to go to confession this lent. If you do I know you won’t be sorry!

    • Jane Deutschlander

      I completely understand Jim – the same is true for me… right down to getting mad at myself every time I choose not to go. I get anxiety just thinking about going… I don’t know what to say, how to act,… it is really an uncomfortable feeling so I avoid it. The last time I went… long ago – I actually cried because I was so overwhelmed…I know I should but keep telling myself that it is okay as long as I pray and acknowledge my sins that way. I want that feeling of lightness and new beginning but I don’t seem to have the courage to go. It is definitely an obstacle in my life.

      • Jim Ziegler

        Thanks to all of you for your responses.You gave me the push I needed.I went today and I feel better than if I hit the lottery.I wouldn’t trade this feeling I have now for anything.Thanks for the prayers and I love you all.God Bless

    • Kim Roberts

      I pray that you can find the courage to go this week. That mad at yourself feeling will be washed away with your sin and you will feel God’s peace.

    • Eileen

      Yes it is… I have had a couple of things come to mind over the last year, that happened 40 years ago. Things that I didn’t want to confess to my own priest. So I sought out a priest I didn’t know. (This happened twice). The second time I was scared that I would be separated from the Eucharist. The priest was so kind and merciful, you could see in his eyes that he knew my fear. I’m sure they have heard worse things than what I confessed, but I was still very afraid.

      Afterward, I was walking on clouds. It was such a great feeling to be free from the burden. Just do it – you’ll be glad you did!

    • Donna

      I felt the same way after avoiding confession for years. Then one week we had a visiting priest, and he was available for confession. Our regular priest encouraged me, and I was so glad I went. It was very helpful to hear counsel from a new perspective, and I was less inhibited confessing to someone who didn’t know me. Maybe visit a different parish the first time?

    • Karen

      Jim please go today! It will be the best thing you can do for yourself! And don’t stop going. So many graces you will receive. I will be praying for you. Stop resisting!

    • Marilyn Russell

      This is an open and honest response to the Sacrament of Confession and I appreciate your courage and your humble spirit. For me Confession comes in many forms; going to the person I have sinned against and asking for forgiveness. Kneeling before the Crucifix and expressing my sorrow before the Lord. Talking to a good friend or a family member about the sins I have committed. Looking at myself in a mirror and saying my sins out loud over and over. The Holy Spirit is with you and if you listen He is giving your the courage to go to confession and talk to Jesus and hear the words of forgiveness.

    • Dianne Barber Saltzman

      Go, Jim. I went for the first time a year ago after an absence of over 30 years. I had a couple of whoppers to confess. Sadly, while they were my personal failures, there was nothing unique about them. I had not invented a new way to cause injury to myself or others or grieve our Loving Father. The priest didn’t blink, cringe, or draw back in disgust. He absolved and I walked out cleansed.

      A word of advice, if I may. Take time for reflection. Write a list. I wrote my own act of contrition, too. Additionally, I scheduled my confession rather than going during posted confession times. My priest was mostly aware of my circumstances, even if not the actual list of sins.

      Lifting you in prayer, Jim. May God bless you.

    • Lorraine Saldivar

      Jim,
      I often tell people, “If it were easy, it would be called conversation!” No one likes to admit we are wrong. That’s why I prefer to call it reconciliation. This way I focus on the fact that I’m not just confessing, I am repairing (reconciling) my relationship God. This is my motivator. Also, remember that priest have two main purposes: to bring the Eucharist (Jesus) to us and to bring us closer to God. Be honest with the priest. He will understand and walk you through the process. In fact, call and make an appt to meet with him to talk about your reservations. He will help you overcome the resistance. So I say: let there be anxiety, fear, embarrassment. But please Lord remove the resistance.

    • Ronda Jewell

      Absolutely it is normal. I had not been in years and was at a retreat with my mother and sisters. They held a reconciliation service, with multiple priests. I did not really want to go, but something, I expect it was God, told me to relax and you will be ok. I went to confession and it was hard but afterwards it was so overwhelmingly positive.
      So Jim, I can only speak for myself, that there is nothing that you need to confess that our Father does not already know. He wants peace for you. I pray this will be the day you take that step to inner peace.
      God Bless you.

  • jesspinosa

    You know how it feels when, after a hot summer day, coming home from work, and you are tired, grouchy, hungry and thirsty, and you are practically dragging yourself, then you turn the key and you’re home? Then you have a cold drink, take a nice long refreshing shower, then put on fresh pajamas and you feel so clean all over? You feel like a million dollar, right? Multiply that by a hundred times, and that’s how you feel after going to confession, especially if you have not gone for a long time. All is right with you and the world around you, but most especially with the Lord who loves you.
    A word of caution, based on my own experience: The moment after confession is the time to be more vigilant, for that’s when the evil one will try to bring you back to his side. It could be in the form of something you see that leads to impure thoughts, a person who is rude to you and makes you angry, or an announcement of train delay that makes you curse. Watch out, he is sneaky, don’t let him get to you.

    • Nancy D.

      Well said.

    • David B

      Very true. Thanks for your words.

    • Chris Hayes Pittman

      I agree!! Well said!!!

    • Matthew Wasilewski

      Very true, thanks.

    • Mary

      Great analogy. How coincidental, I had planned on going to a Reconciliation Service our parish is having this Tuesday. I love the feeling I have after that I have a fresh start. I too get nervous when in line and don’t like to go to a priest that knows me too well, but feel more connected and blessed my God’s mercy after.

      • Carl

        I don’t like going to a priest who knows me either, so i ‘borrowed” a page from one of our priests who shared that he doesn’t either – which is why he goes to confession in the city where he is not known.

    • Lynne

      Well said – Blessings

      • Annette

        Love your thoughts, Jess! Thanks for sharing!

    • Betty

      Great description !!!

    • SHYNE4GOD

      This is so true about the enemy ! Yes we must recognize Thank you

    • Michelle Ardini

      If you do go to confession frequently, with a firm purpose of amendment, God absolutely gives you grace to resist committing the same sins over and over again. It was helpful that you mentioned how Satan is especially sneaky and tries to get you soon after confession- that once happened to me while I was trying to pray my penance! Never forget that the mercy of God is greater than all our sins.

    • Las

      I finally got the courage to go after about 30 years and I confessed a pretty big sin – I feel I need to go again- my penance was 1 Hail Mary – the Priest didn’t seem to flinch when I confessed. I felt like he didn’t hear me – im disappointed and confused

      • Jon

        I used to get that feeling too when the priest gave me such a small penance for something that I consider serious. Over time though my attitude has changed and it now puts a smile on my face (almost to the point of a joyous giggle) to think that the lord loves me so much that he can wipe away all my wretchedness with just a few Hail Mary’s from me.

      • Ken

        Las
        We want the punishment to equal the crime. Jesus took all the punishment. Your sins have been truly forgiven. Don’t allow the devil to put dout in your heart.

        • Las

          Thank you

        • Michael Coons

          Ken, how true. How many times have I walked out of confession and had that lingering feeling that there is NO way I am truly 100% forgiven. No one could just forgive and forget what I have done. I have not suffered enough. I always find that adoration after confession helps me to take the time to accept that Jesus loves me no matter what and I am truly forgiven.

      • Sherri

        I had a similar experience. After going to communal penance instead of private confession for over 30 years, I finally made the difficult decision (for me) to return to a private confession. My penance was a single prayer and I felt disappointed and not absolved. I did return and now go often and I have found that the priest talks to me so much more than they used to and sometimes my penance is actions rather than prayer. He will ask me to do something for someone. Please return and if you still feel
        disappointed, talk to the priest about it. I agree with John. . .How blessed are we that our Lord loves us so much, our sins are wiped clean with a sincere prayer(s). God Bless You.

        • Las

          Thank you it feels good to hear that I am not alone in feeling the way I do – I guess I need to forgive myself now

          • Lisa

            God has no problem with forgiveness. He’s really good at it. It is we who have trouble forgiving ourselves.

      • Cathy Townsend

        Would you have felt better if the Priest had reacted with “oh my goodness, that is the worst sin I have ever heard?” The priest is merely a conduit to God in confession, God forgives our sin. Confessing to a priest gives us the opportunity to own up to what we have done by confessing it to another human being, the Priest. It took real courage to go to confession after 30 years. You had 30 years of dwelling on your sin, thirty years of Satan convincing you that your sin was so bad you could never be forgiven. The size of the sin has nothing to do with the penance given by the Priest. We are showing our obedience and gratitude for God’s grace when we pray after confession. Your sin was forgiven when you confessed it and the Priest absolved you of your sin. May I suggest you make an appointment to talk with your priest about how you are feeling? Your sin has been forgiven by God, you now have to work on forgiving yourself also.

        • Las

          Thank you so much

          • Kelly Sweeney

            Hi Cathy, great response! Glad to see you on this site!

        • Rhonda Gilbert

          Cathy, this is the best explanation of why we confess to a Priest. Thank you!

        • kathy

          You are so correct Cathy, God forgives our failings but it’s much more difficult to forgive ourselves. I understand how Las feels, it’s so difficult carrying around a big wrong and always wondering, has it truly been forgiven…will I need to do penance on earth forever in order to really be forgiven. It’s something we all struggle with. Despite our belief that our sins our forgiven, many still carry around this weight and the feeling that anything that goes wrong in our lives is just more pennance for the sin we committed.

      • Delia Shuert Kavanaugh

        A priest will never flinch at what is confessed. They are there to show you the love of Jesus Christ and to embrace you in that love and in His forgiveness. Confession is for us to personally experience the unconditional love Jesus has for us. It is not meant for us to feel judgment. May God bless.

        • Margo

          Thank you for this, Delia. When I first read this a few days ago, it really struck me. I never thought it about that way, through the eyes of the priest. I have felt closer to God since I went to confession, that He is there. And, miracle, my estranged sister sent me an email.

      • Michele

        What a wonderful blessing that you’ve reconciled yourself with God!! That devil is a sneaky one. Don’t let him rob you of God’s gift of Mercy and healing. The priest did not flinch because he does not judge and, believe it or not, he’s heard that sin before. He is there In Personally Cristi- in the person of Christ. It truly is Jesus himself who forgives our sins in Confession. Look to the cross. Reflect on Jesus’s Passion. Jesus already paid your debt, dear sister! He did that for YOU. He would have endured every lashing and every stinging word if ONLY YOU ALONE were saved as a result. That’s how much you are loved. Trust in Him. Your sins ARE forgiven. Instead of returning to Confession for that same sin, turn in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, ask Jesus to help you pray and to know that you are forgiven, and then pray that Hail Mary slowly, intentionally, focusing on every word and what it means, while imagining Christ’s Passion. May the peace of Christ be with you! -Michele

        • Las

          Thank you for your reply I am trying so hard to be prayerful every day and in my words and actions
          I want to be the very best version of myself 🙏

        • Annette

          Beautifully explained! I went to a Lenten mission this week and the wonderful priest said those exact words and I was so blessed by him! Jesus is our almighty healer and will forgive if we just ask him for that forgiveness! Michele, you are so very blessed!

      • Barb Stuart

        I know what you are saying about the amount of penance-but also remember-God heard you say out loud your sins and was thankful that you came to say them to one of his disciples.Amen,dear person

        • Las

          Amen thank you

      • Janice M. Lynch

        Oh my gosh, I feel the same way. I went around this time last year. I know it is stupid, but I really don’t feel like I am forgiven. I am housebound and dependent on others for transportation, and believe me, I have used this as an excuse not to go back again. Please pray for me that I might receive the grace and courage to try again.

        • Las

          I will pray for you

        • Jan

          Praying for you and also for me to go back and try it again. I had a bad experience with reconciliation and the priest was horrified when I confessed my sin and refused to forgive me. I have since gone and was forgiven but I still don’t feel like I have or deserve to be forgiven.

          • Elephant

            That priest was wrong! He has to give absolution as Jesus will always forgive our sins when we ask. I am so sorry you had this experience. You do deserve Christ’s forgiveness as He has already paid the price for you. Praying you may find peace in His love. God bless you.

        • Kathleen Spector

          Janice I am praying you receive the grace to approach our Lord in confession and receive an abundance of grace in return! Happy Easter!

      • Janice Willey

        Thank you for your witness! There is sooo much that resonates with me. From what you said, I am struck by how powerful one Hail Mary must be, then! I just found this today in my lenten reading…”Blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled”(Lk 1:45). What a role model in faith…believe you have been forgiven! God Bless!

        • Las

          I have confessed so many times in praying that maybe that final Hail Mary was a gift that I was already forgiven and I just had to say my sin out loud

          • Elephant

            Then you can forgive yourself. One of the hardest things to do. God bless you.

          • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

            Las, VOILA !! BINGO!! Happiest Easter , ever !; after the best Lent, ever .

        • Paulette

          What a wonderful way to put it, the power of one Hail Mary!

          • Stasia Todd

            The Knights of Columbus used to have a bumper sticker that read, “Pray one Hail Mary.” They might still have it. An old Polish priest at my parish used to say the same thing. Very powerful!

        • Amarilis 🌺

          Beautiful verse Janice, God does really talk to us if we are just willing to listen. Thank you!

        • NPTara

          Love this!

      • Carl

        I wonder if you went to confession in my parish!

        One of our priests has been encouraging more people to go to confession and promised that “I always give just one Hail Mary for anything from murder on down.”

        When I had a chance to speak with him alone and asked him about it, he replied that “It is not up to me to judge and decide an appropriate penance to fit the crime.” He added that he is there as a representative of Jesus to provide absolution.

        Sometimes, I think it is we who have difficulty forgiving ourselves. We need to remember that – Thankfully! – God does not judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves!

      • Mett

        I agree. I went to confession too after 30 years and didn’t really feel like I was forgiven – no penance, no go in peace, no your sins are forgiven, but no your sins aren’t forgiven. Made me feel strange.

      • Ssamaca

        Las – I think your penance was the tremendous effort, fear, pain, anxiety, loneliness that you must have felt before you entered the confessional. Like Jesus in Gethsemane. The humility it took to confess your sins. You did your penance already. Now the priest, bless him, was like the prodigal son’s father – rejoicing that his son returned. The Hail Mary was a prayer of celebration, and you celebrated with God, the Angels and the Saints who rejoiced when you came back. Jess is right. The evil one wants to weaken you in your faith. But God’s love is so much stronger. Turn to God’s love.

        • Joyce Lamb

          That’s a beautiful thought! Thank you

      • Sue

        I am thinking that 30 years of carrying that burden, is in itself a great penance. I speak from experience.
        Recall how Jesus forgave sins in the Gospels. He healed and forgave. He didn’t offer difficult penance. Instead he said, “Your sins are forgiven.” And “Go and sin no more.”

      • Patriot

        Many times I have felt the same way. What I have learned is that Jesus loves me so much there is nothing I can do to ‘make up’ for my sins. What we can do is just as the blind man who returned to Jesus — thank Him and adore Him and love Him. Jesus has done everything. There is nothing more for us to do.

      • Anthony Siwczak

        Yes, I have been in the same situation about the length of time since I went to confession, and also to Mass. Finally one day after about 28 yrs. the Holy Spirit nudged me to go and reconcile with God’. I thought that living in the style of a sinner the Lord would not forgive me. But on the day I decided to go, I found that the travel distance to the church was over 30 miles and confessions were on a limited schedule. Never even thought or considered that you could call the office to schedule a time to confess. But anyway I made the trip and was blessed that an old priest with no one showing up, persevered and waited the full hour confessions were scheduled. Since then I make reconciliation at least twice a month a priority. Scrupulocity gets in there but talking to a priest ends that. So talk to your pastor , he will help.

      • Debra Kyser

        Priests are so different in their approaches.They hear so many sins they must get use to and are not as shocked as we think they may be. It sounds like you expected a tougher penance. I find i like Communal Confessions where a there are about 8 priests at one church and i like the face to face talking instead of the confessionals. In those cases the penance is more related to your particular sin and not a traditional Hail Mary. Go try another priest where you may get more counseling too.

      • k Garcia

        Please don’t feel discouraged…. The priest was listening….God already forgave you… Forgive yourself now……… ❤

      • KMN

        I too finally got the courage to go to confession after 21 years and it was everything that I imagined and hoped it would be! I was nervous and excited at the same time but relieved, cleansed and ready for a new start after it was done! After 21 years, there were many sins, however, after my Examination of Conscience, I realized that they pretty much centered around six areas. When it was my time, my heart was pounding and my hands trembling, I closed the door and started to confess. The priest was so gentle, so understanding, provided encouragement and council and said I was forgiven! Now that I have gone to confession, I finally feel that I’m Catholic and I intend to remain Catholic at least once a month if not more! Why I waited so long…it is so beautiful how God is so patience and will wait no matter how long it takes!

      • Lisa Sharpe

        Cathy is right. I felt the same as you do, Las. And after a few years of holding onto the “guilt” of not having a “deserving” penance, I went again. The priest said the same, I had already been forgiven. My sin was that I hadn’t forgiven myself. It was such a freeing moment, I felt I had been given my life back. I encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your feelings with your priest.

      • jddimi

        I too felt like the priest didn’t really hear my confession after a really terrible sin. So I kept confessing my same old sins every time I went. One time I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and reconfessed the same sins from 7 years earlier. The Priest looked at me and said, obviously you aren’t doing that now. I said no they are from a while ago. He asked why I thought my sins were so special that God would not forgive me? That hit me hard. My ego was the problem. The Devil also wants you to believe you are unworthy of God’s forgiveness. Don’t fall in that trap. Once God forgives you, and he always will, you need to forgive yourself and stop holding onto those old sins. I too thought I should have received a harsher penance, but done with love it is enough. God bless.

      • Anne Beaufeaux

        Omgoodness! What courage! I am so happy for you that you took that 1st step. I will pray for you to keep it going-as a family, we try to go the 1st of every month; It’s been a good practice for us. Glory be to God-rejoicing with you in your redemption!

      • Carol

        Go again! Find a different priest possibly at a different parish. Last Easter, I went to the community confession where there are quite a few priests. I got in line and when I confessed my sins, the priest mumbled something that I didn’t understand. I wanted to hop into a different line and start over but didn’t have the nerve. I went back to confession a few weeks after Easter and discovered a wonderful priest at a neighboring parish. No worries, God heard you and you were forgiven.

      • NPTara

        I did a similar thing, same unflinching result… twice (slow-learner, I guess.) I was struck by how hard it was to ask but how easy it was to receive forgiveness and healing. I was also happy to find that – I left confession feeling inspired to do better, not feeling like I’d been ‘let off easy’.
        God’s mercy is one of those mysteries that is hard to understand because his ways are not my ways. But I am so thankful for it. It makes me never want to avoid confession again.

      • Leah Allen

        Las, try again in another church or with a different priest. Find a comforting place for you to confess. Once you go a few times, you start feeling Gods presence in the confessional. His peace and forgiveness will overwhelm you. I think sometimes we are expecting a more human response, especiallly when we are out of practice of being in Gods presence. I love hearing God speak His forgiveness, through the priest…. and remember, that once it’s been confessed and forgiven, it’s gone. Let go, accept Gods love and walk away from the darkness and into the light! God can’t make you forgive yourself, He can only hold you while you let go…
        It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on….
        It takes a lot of strength to let go……JC Watts

      • Joanne Melear

        Las, be gentle with yourself, as he was with you. Often, what good people consider “a pretty big sin” is something priests hear often in confession. We’re more alike than we realize.

    • Anne Mason

      Oh yes, indeed! You hit the nail right on the head. Just went to confession this week and was reminded right after coming out of the church who is lurking close by to try to “bring you back to his side”. Thank for the great post. God bless.

    • Magalis Muniz

      Well said! 😊

      • Magalis Muniz

        I totally agree with your analogy. It was perfect. It has happened to me. I feel a weight has been lost lifted. We do have to be careful afterwards because the devil will is there to try to trip us. It has happened to me. 😟

    • Lori Andre

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I enjoyed your insights yes that is the perfect way of describing confessional

    • Mich Smi

      yeah!

    • Lydia

      Thank you for your word of caution. I have experienced this myself. The evil one is very sneaky.

    • Martin Tousignant

      I have found this to happen consistently, whether facing direct temptation or difficult circumstances. However if I know a storm is coming, I will seek shelter.

  • Pearl Brown

    I have not gone in a long time, however I intend to do something about that and make a decision to go as often as I can. Forgive me Lord

  • Kate McLoud

    I think it was about 20 years ago that I went to confession for the first time in years. The opportunity presented itself and I took advantage of it. I felt lighter afterwards. Since then I have gone to confession at least twice a year (during advent and lent). I always feel lighter afterwards.

    I’d like to go more often but here’s the strange thing. I’m embarrassed to tell people that that’s what I’m doing, even (or maybe especially) family members. What does that say about our society that I am embarrassed to admit that I am in need of God’s forgiveness?

    • Ben Endorf

      Kate,I used to think the same way but then I realized I didn’t care anymore what they thought because I have to answer to God and not them. Most of the time these people were trying to bring me down or into their negative way of life, and some I believe were jealous because hey didn’t have the courage to do what I was doing!

      • Kate McLoud

        Thanks for the encouraging words Ben.

      • Susan A.

        Amen Ben! So true.

    • Marilyn Russell

      Thank you for your encouragement. It is important to me to say “Father Forgive me” not Father priest, but Father God. The Holy Spirit is truly present in Confession, it was His prompting that has brought me here. He knows my struggles, my sins, and He wants me to talk to Him, not in silence, but out loud and personal. No matter who is behind the screen, the Trinity is there, listening, forgiving, loving me.

    • Grace

      I understand your feeling Kate and I have felt that way in the past also. Think of it as a small way that you can evangelize those around you. One small statement about how you just received the sacrament of Reconciliation can easily put a bug in someone’s ear; start growing that mustard seed in someone’s heart. Never underestimate the positive effects that you may have on someone else’s life by YOUR life 🙂

      • Kate McLoud

        That’s a great way to think of it, thanks!

    • Donna

      Katy, did you ever think that you might give them the courage to go too! We lead by example! It might take a while but who knows!

      • Kate McLoud

        So true Donna!

  • Doug

    When we moved to Charlotte 34 years ago only 1% of the population was Catholic. With Charlotte tripling in size that percentage has risen dramatically due to the influx of people moving here from all over the country…especially from the Northeast. Catholics are still not well received in some places. In fact, I was once told that all Catholics go to hell. When I asked why, I was told that it was because of “that confession thing.” You see, what non-Catholics see is us going to confession and then turn right around and sin again and again. I told them that it was not by design.

    This taught me 2 lessons. When I go to confession I had better make darn sure that I don’t commit a sin, definitely not the same sin, over and over again. The second thing it taught me was not to judge other’s denominations. It didn’t feel very good to be judged about being Catholic.

    Like you, I’m sure, I always get asked why we have to confess our sins to a priest. I tell them it’s because we have confirmation that our sins were heard. I explain to them that the feeling you get after being absolved is beyond description. The most important reason is that it purifies us to receive the Holy Eucharist.

    • Dianne Barber Saltzman

      May I add, like all sacraments, Reconciliation is a means of receiving God’s grace. It’s a gift. Next time you are asked, you might suggest they visit James 5:16.

    • Linda Carmelle

      It must have been challenging to move to an area without much of a Catholic community to offer support.
      You would really be going out after mass to be a prophet at that time,literally.

      I can’t say I have ever been in such a situation ,but when faced with the challenges of being the only Catholic or one of a few Christians in my work life/career then I can relate.

      In those situations I have found it helpful to share with non -believers that many self help programs,12 step programs, and therapists often suggest we confess and reconcile with those people we have hurt or damaged while paricipating in our least desirable behaviors or periods of life. Its because this can bring healing and recovery to all involved. If its a vital part of the healing and recovery process with people,(and even more unpredictable because people may choose not to forgive you) how much more worthwhile is it to receive that unconditional love and forgiveness from our God ? People may pass away before you have a chance to confess or ask forgiveness,they may have hardness of heart,they may be burdened with mental illness,dementia,or other afflictions to prevent a true reunion and reconcilliation from happening. God though is always waiting for us to return,He is patient,loving, and forgiving;how much more can we ask and how much more do we need that in our lives?

      Sometimes it helps to explain it in this way,sometimes you are just planting a seed,either way its an option to helping other discover they can have an option to discovering a path to become better versions of themselves too.

  • T the C

    After listening to this I just realized that in my next confession I will focus not as much on what I have done but on what I have failed to do. I’ve always forgotten this part of confession. I’ve only been focusing on sins of commission, never realizing all of my sins of ommission.

  • PS

    I have not been to confession in quite some time. I’m not sure what I am supposed to do. Can someone guide me through the steps of a face to face confession?

    • John Vanseters

      I’ve been away from confession for a long time too and was taken by surprise by face to face. I treated it as if there was a screen there. I did and said everything that I would have. Then, I explained my situation ( being away 30+ years ) . Father was understanding and helped me through in the places I struggled.

    • J

      Dear PS, I think I read this on the Best Lent last year. Just go into the confessional and tell the priest it’s been however long and you don’t know what to do. He will guide you through it. Ask the Blessed Mother & the Holy Spirit to give you the courage to actually go.

    • Margaret C

      Dear Child of God,
      You just made the first amazing step of reconciliation, & that is saying you WANT to go! God knows the desires of your heart, but it’s not enough to just wish you were cleansed of your sins, you must make the effort to truly rid yourself from that weight through confession, despite if you feel scared, embarrassed, unsure of what to say or do… These are emotions that change our behavior greatly. More importantly, these are natural human feelings that weaken our spirit~and the devil loves to prey on our weaknesses and to keep us as far away from our Lord as possible! GO to confession!!
      Forget about the formality of confession for now, and just go. When it’s your turn, open up with your first one-liner, “Bless me Father for I have sinned; it has been so very long since my last confession that I even feel rusty of what to do.” God will take it from there. There’s not a priest in this world that would (should) turn a sinner away from a confession in the confessional!…Jesus will be happy you came. The priest will guide you to reconciliation, grace, and happiness. You will break the barrier, and feel like a new person and hopefully less anxious for your next confession. Just remember that besides receiving Jesus in the eucharist (communion), confession is the closest you can get (sit) to Him on earth…The priest takes on the Persona Christi (person of Christ) during confession. Christ actually sits right there in the conessional quietly & patiently and all-merciful waiting for you to come to Him with the little things, big things, & anything in between. When you walk out of there after a “good” confession, you will be as “clean” and pure as as baby, or as sin-free as the day of your baptism. Please Go!! Without reconciliation (confession) you cannot receive communion (the eucharist)…and that IS as close to Jesus as you can get here on this temporal earth. Just do it :). Don’t worry about the formalities. The priest will guide you. Christ works through him. There will most likely be an “Act of Contrition” prayer card for you to use if you have forgotten the words of that prayer which you say at the end of your confession. Even if there is no prayer card, the priest will help you…no worries. Just go.

      • PS

        Thank you all for giving me the courage!!! I will go next Saturday 4pm!

  • Cristina

    Our God is a loving and forgiving God. I too get embarrassed and scared to tell my sins, but the feeling I get after confession is a feeling of love, and peace and that is something that we all need in our heart and mind.

  • Peggy

    I need forgiveness and healing. I need to make a truly good confession. There is no better time to start to make confession a priority in my life than during this Lenton season. Today is the day I will start to go to confession regularly.

    • Donna

      Good for you! You will feel wonderful afterwards! I know I did when I started going again a few years ago.

    • NancyB

      God bless you, Peggy.

    • Caron

      You can do it, Peggy!

  • Laura Reese

    I go to confession about twice a month and have discovered that regular confession helps me to work toward constant improvement because I am more aware of my own pattern of sins. Of course, it also means that I am often confessing the same sins over and over again. When I brought this up to our priest he referred me to the book of Matthew to get some information on the number of times that God would forgive me. Infinitely. He also spoke a quote from pope Francis that I had also seen. It was something like, “People often tire of confessing the same sins long before God tires of hearing them”. Lastly, I like to make the little joke that the more often you go, the shorter the list you have to remember. God Bless!

    • Chris Hayes Pittman

      Thanks for the reminders!!! Everyone needs to hear that every once in awhile.

    • Caron

      Awesome. Love the reminder and last joke. Thanks!

    • Mary

      I go about twice a year, but should take your advice and go more often so I don’t have to remember as much. I too feel I often say the same things. Thanks for the reminder God is so forgiving.

      • cathy baier

        Father Scott says thank God if you feel like you’re always confessing the same sins–you’re not branching out into others!😀

  • Eduardo Hoover

    I always get Godly advice through confession. Some priests seem better than others in giving advice but not really. I have never been given conflicting advice but snippets to really curtail those habitual sins and applying all this advice has given me victories. The best question I was given in confession was, “Why are you here?” I began to grapple with the question and the priest interrupted me, “For grace!” How did I forget that? I will never forget that and it keeps me going to confession and penance to be reconciled to God and receive his grace!

  • Ed

    Healing in confessions is found when I admit to myself that I really do need the unlimited help of God’s sanctifying grace to make me spiritually healthy again. There is something comprehensive that envelopes my soul when I hear the words go your sins are forgiven. The few minutes that follow that closure are so filled with an inner peace, joy and the feeling of limitless love are so invigorating.

    Ialways am amazed that it took such energy to overcome the feeling that Confession is the last thing we want to do on a Saturday afternoon.

  • Bernadette

    I love going to confession. For me, there is real joy and hope in absolution. I literally cannot stop myself from smiling as absolution is granted as the excitement within is akin to that of going to meet a loved one at the airport who has been away for a long time. It is just better than that as I know that God is waiting for me with open arms and there is no “baggage” to hinder the embrace as there so often is between people, even those who love each other. Another very important part of the excitement is the realisation that, with grace, this may well be the last time I am going to confess that particular habitual sin. Of course, we all have habitual sins which challenge us, but through prayer, effort and by co-operating with God’s grace, there is always the possibility that we will not commit that sin again. The opportunity to then grow closer to God and work on other areas in our human lives is gifted.

    And yet, despite all those wonderful blessings, peace and grace which I know await in the confessional, there are times when I am embarrassed to go to confession, because I have failed and done something which I know has hurt others, myself and my relationship with God, and of which I am deeply ashamed. I may struggle for a while and resist, but I just keep reminding myself that that is when I am most in need of God’s forgiveness, and will eventually overcome the resistance to go. Whenever I do, I always wish I had gone sooner!

    • NancyB

      Well said, Bernadette.

    • Lea Novak

      I don’t get that wonderful feeling after confession…I don’t know if I am not trusting enough in God’s mercy, or if it’s that “dark night” thing they talk about, but I wish Incould feel it that way. I try to get to confession once a month, but I have decided to try to make that once a week, since they offer confession after the 9:00 AM Saturday Mass at our church every week. Maybe my list of sins will be shorter if I go more often…😇😕😇

      • Bernadette

        I am so sorry that you are unable to experience the graces of the sacrament in the same way, Lea. I will offer my mass intentions for you and others to experience that joy.

        It may be, perhaps, that you are blessed with that deep connection through other sacraments or prayers, which I, for instance, may find challenging in different ways. Perhaps it might also be that you are far more advanced spiritually than I am and therefore more aware of your sins and tougher on yourself.

        Remember that God does not want us to better than we are, just the best that we can be which, I believe, changes as we move through different phases of our lives.

        Even if you do not, as yet, experience that deep sense of peace and joy, it might help to reflect on the knowledge that our sins are forgiven when absolution is given, even if we find it hard to trust in that teaching at times. Approach with prayerful humility and confidence and treat yourself as kindly and gently as you treat others, as you, too, are created in God’s image.

        • Lea Novak

          Thanks so much. I will try to remember that God doesn’t want us to be better than we are, just the best that we can be. Maybe then I won’t be so hard on myself.

      • Tamara

        I just recently confessed that I have a hard time forgiving myself but I really wanted to leave the confessional and feel the forgiveness. The priest told me that I needed to TRUST God that I am forgiven. I hope that helps. Believe God that you are forgiven and feel the grace He gives you freely and unconditionally!

        • Lea Novak

          Thanks…I suspect that’s my problem

  • Mary

    For the past few years I have gone to confession weekly, to the same priest. He is my confessor. We have a dialog about my sins and weaknesses. This has changed my litany of bad thoughts and deeds. We talk about how to heal my brokenness. When I hear the words of absolution my soul rejoices. There is genius in Reconciliation.

  • Jacob

    Sometime I too get nervous but, I will say that if I am line. I doesn’t mean I will be a perfect person in life. I got to my part to become even those God is helping me. He guiding me through the light. I think there are temptation that can get me off track.

  • Angel Schneider

    I very clearly remember my first confession (it was only about six years ago after I converted to Catholicism 😊). I had just been baptized, but still had agonizing guilt over the terrible things I had done in the past. I weeped with fear the entire time I waited in line then bawled through the confession. At the end, when I heard the words of absolution a literal wave of peace came upon me and erased what years of therapy and anti-depressants could not touch! This gift from God, this opportunity to meet Him in a quiet room in the corner of the church sanctuary, is life saving and life giving. Go! Meet Him there and be healed!

    • NancyB

      One of my first experiences going back after many years was so similar with lots of tears but so worthwhile!!!! I had made an appointment with my pastor because I had so much to confess and I knew I would become emotional. It was so overwhelmingly cleansing. God’s forgiveness and peace are so restorative! God Bless You.

    • Teresa

      Love your comment. Thank you ❤️

  • Rebecca

    I always find it hard to go to confession because it is hard for me to admit the bad things I’ve done. The thing is, God already knows what I have done. Whenever I go to confession I always feel so much better. I know that God loves me no matter what and will always forgive me. Knowing this makes it a lot easier to go to confession.

  • Cathy Lawatsch

    As a converted Catholic, confession wasn’t an easy thing for me to understand, much less to do so I actually went several years before I finally went to confession last year during Lent. Then with the year of Mercy Pilgrimage days I was able to go more often over the past year and find that there is so much healing and reconciling attached to this GREAT sacrament! I recently read the book ” 7 Secrets of Confession” by Vinny Flynn. He has a simply awesome perspective on confession that every Catholic should read! And now I am planning to go to Confession at least once each month because I know that Jesus loves us sinners, but hates the sin that keeps us from Him.

    • Kim Roberts

      Thank you for the book recommendation!

  • Mary Charlotte Shannon

    I wish I could go to confession. It’s been 16 years because I am married to a divorced Catholic. We are 76 and 81 and I am praying every day for guidance.

    • J

      Dear Mary, if you haven’t already, why don’t you make an appointment to talk to a priest outside of confession and see what can be done. It’s worth a try.

      • NancyB

        This is such good advice. I made an appointment with our pastor when I had significant issues that I struggled with and he was wonderful. Just find the right priest! WE all do not related to the same kinds of person, not a criticism of a priest, just human nature. Prayers Mary Charlotte.

      • Mary Charlotte Shannon

        I’m working on it. Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mary, see my reply to Nancy’s comment above. I had not been to confession for 8+ years. It is possible and it feels wonderful to go. I will keep you in my prayers.

      • Mary Charlotte Shannon

        Thank you Mike for your prayers.

    • Tina

      Hello Mary Charlotte, I have two friends, (two couples), who were in your situation. The ones who were divorced and remarried contacted the Bishop`s office. There the specialist in Canon Law helped start annulment procedure after receiving needed letters, documents from the divorced or previous spouse.
      The person in your position went to confession and lived as brother and sister until the annulment was granted. Then they had a Church wedding receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony. It took a while until all the investigations wee done.
      So, all in all, I pray you start as soon as possible. The Church is a loving Mother and wants all her children to go to heaven.

      • Mary Charlotte Shannon

        My marriage was annulled by my ex husband. My husband now does not believe in it, but I’m praying that he will change his mind.

        • Tina

          Try to explain to your husband that a legal marriage is valid in the eyes of the Law of the land and society, but not valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church or before God. It is the equivalent of cohabitation.
          That my friends were allowed to live as brother and sister during the annulment process, was because small children were involved.
          It is your parish priest who is responsible, before the Bishop, to help you all he can.
          My prayers are with you.

          • Mary Charlotte Shannon

            Thank you

  • Kim Roberts

    I struggle with confession because I struggle with noticing/remembering my sins. I know that I sin daily but I am not good at examining my conscience. Many sins go unnoticed by me and many are forgotten the next day. I need to start writing down the sins I notice in order to truly confess my sins at my next confession. Another thing that holds me back from confession is that I rarely change my ways afterward. I find myself making the same mistakes repeatedly. These are things I need to work on so that I can get the most out of the sacrament.

    • J

      Kim, I feel the same way. I know I am committing sins every day but can’t think of them when it comes time to go to confession, even if I go monthly. I don’t really know how to work on this.

      • NancyB

        After being away from confession for over 15 years, I was a nervous wreck the first time I went back. What worked for me was that I did my reflection before I got to church that first time. I found an examination of conscience guide in the back of church one day. The first time I did that I apologized to my priest and he said not to feel bad because to him it meant I did a good examination of conscience. I do this routinely now. I don’t often do the number of times but he’s OK with that. The guide asks question to reflect on and that especially helps with sins of omission, what I should have done. And, I know I often mix up several Acts of Contrition that I learned over the years, but Father never remarks on it. He just enthusiastically absolves me, and extends his hand in a warm handshake. The list idea works for me and even if the list is smaller one time over the next, it still keeps me focused.

    • Linda Carmelle

      Yes being able to realize that an act or lack of an act is a sin is and remembering those moments when we sin are always a challenge for me. I LOVE your idea of writing sins down when they happen to help make a truly worthy confession. I think its a beautiful way to help us grow and develop on our journey of becoming a better version of ourselves! Our local parishes in the western suburbs of Illinois tend to have pamphlets available as you enter the church or outside the confessional. I will spend time in the pews at church or in line reflecting on my sins before I enter the confessional. This tends to bring memories of sin to the front of my mnd to help me make a more honest confession.The pamphlets are also a helpful guide to as they have step by step guidelines for the process and the act of contrition written on them. As most people do tend to be very nervous before and during confession it is nice to have the access to the words you need that may not come to mind in the moment. But the pamphlets for me are also a spiritual guide or director .Each sin is broken down for you.For instance,Thou shall not steal….the 7th commandment,How many of us participate in activities during our work hours that should be performed on our personal time? Or taken items from work home?We may not realize it at the time ,but we are stealing or cheating our employer.Even in the bible its recorded as Jesus saying render unto Ceaser what is Ceaser’s and render unto God what is God’s. In this day and age it is easy to be swayed or talk ourselves into the fact that this doesn’t pertain to us. These pamphlets are helpful and usually a free resource. I also like refering to the Deeds of Mercy pamphlet too as another guide of what I have done and what I have failed to do. Thank you Kim for helping me today and guiding me spiritually with your reflections,ideas, and openess. Have a Blessed Day!

  • trysohard

    Like every other good habit, going to confession takes regular practice. You won’t definitely, instantly find a the best priest for yourself. But you will find a priest faithfully waiting to serve Christ and to heal you. Pray beforehand for the priest and for a good confession. Concentrate on your most serious sin and your sorrow for sinning. Don’t make excuses or try to blame others – just say you did it and how often. If the priest wants a better understanding he will guide you, and be honest. Tell him every sin that comes to mind and allow him to counsel you and to challenge you. Don’t fret about the people in line or feel rushed for any reason. But avoid the tendency to use this time as an extended therapy session. Express your gratitude for the priest’s ministry to you and offer a few prayers for him afterwards. Repeat the whole process monthly. And strive to examine your conscience daily.

  • Paul Lisney

    I can’t say that I love going to confession. I usually go about once a month and sometimes sooner when something is really bothering me. What I do love is the feeling I get once the priest gives me absolution and I’m all clean again. Going in time for Divine Mercy Sunday is amazing as well because of the promises offered. I have done this for the past few years. There is a great book out by Vinnie Flynn called THE 7 SEVEN SECRETS OF CONFESSION that is eye opening and helps us to see the sacrament of confession in its true light. It is really about healing all the wounds that cause us to sin, so now when I prepare for confession I look at the areas in my life where I struggle and in most need of God’s grace. When 8 first read the book I was actually eager to go to confession and confess this way.

  • 1downrivermary

    I envy Mary who has a “personal” confessor. I have not found this and every time I go, it feels like I am looking for council and I do not find that. So mainly I stand before God and confess. I would love an extension of that.

  • LV

    I had not been to confession in 15 years. In all honesty I had not been since we went as a class in Wednesday night religion. For many years I felt that God was calling me to go to confession, but I was terrified. 2 years ago as my son approached his first reconciliation I knew that I had to put my fears aside and go, if not for myself then to be an example for him. The thing is, I knew God would love and forgive me no matter what, but I was terrified I would do something wrong, or out of order, or say the Act of Contrition incorrectly. I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic elementary school. In an effort to instill reverence, respect, and awe (all good things!) we were taught the “right” way to act in a fear based, scolding type of way. This gave me great fear of doing something wrong and I’ve struggled with a fear of being unwelcomed or shamed in many ways, such as attending a new church, confession, and it is still the reason I have never attended adoration at our church (I’m a work in progress :). I now teach my sons Wednesday night religion class and last week our class went to confession. As soon as we walked in the door our priest yelled at them to “Stop!” Demanded to know who’s house they were in, and scolded them, telling them to genuflect. All the fear and shame of my childhood came rushing back to me and stood there fighting back tears. The kids had been taught to genuflect before entering the pew, if they were expected to genuflect upon entering then that is my fault as their teacher. I’m not saying our Priest did anything wrong, just that it’s a challenge to balance our teaching of reverence with making sure they know God’s love for them and that He will always welcome them. It just hurts my heart that other kids could be made to feel unwelcome or fearful of this great sacrament God has given us. I have been going to confession during the Christmas and Easter penance services, but would like to go more regularly, I’m getting there.

    • NancyB

      Your situation makes me a little sad and brings back my upbringing as a cradle Catholic. I struggled to see God as all loving instead of only one to fear.

  • Nancy D.

    It has been awhile since I have gone to confession. I really need to take time during this Lenten season to go and confess my sins. That way, I get a fresh start.

    • Mike

      Nancy, I was right there with you at the beginning of this Lent. I had not been to confession for probably 8+ years. I have a wonderful priest who I really admire. So I made an appointment to see him for 45 minutes we talked about my life, my struggles with certain recurring sins, challenges I am facing with where I am in my life and my relationships. It was a confession/spiritual therapy session and I felt wonderful walking out that meeting. That was my experience. I will pray you find something similar for yourself.

    • NancyB

      Go, I’ll pray for a sister ‘Nancy’

  • Grace Alcott

    When I went to confession recently I found that through it I was able to lift this huge burden off of my chest and not feel as though I must continue to lug it around with me.

  • mrcpuhead

    I’ll be honest – penance has always, from early childhood to present day, been awkward for me. Sometimes its just the process and fear of messing it up (especially as a child), other times its embarrassment over recurring sins, still others a combination of both. So when I heard a priest at the Belleville Cursillo weekend (3-day “boot camp” for Catholics) six years ago say we didn’t need penance in its current form, I was relieved! His logic was that the Penitential Act during the Mass was sufficient for absolution. Of course I came to discover, best I could tell, no other priests in our area supported this view of penance. But I still only do the bare minimum, and some years even less. So this is another area of my spiritual life in which I need improvement. I can say after gaining absolution, I do have that great spiritually clean feeling!

  • Jacqueline Shukla

    Last Friday my church had 24 hours with the Lord. It kicked off at 3 p.m. with benediction and then the Way of the Cross. I attended these events. The next morning I was on my way to the grocery and I felt a call to go and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. When I arrived at church, the priest and I were the only ones there. He asked me if I wanted to go to Reconciliation. I have been determined to say yes to God whenever I am sensing a request since I began this Lenten journey, but I felt the resistance in me. Our parish was going to have a reconciliation service the following Tuesday and I was planning to go then, but because of the invitation (which I sensed was from God), I said yes to my pastor that I wanted to go to reconciliation right then on that Saturday. It was very beautiful and healing, and I am glad that I said yes at that time. By the way, my son and daughter-in-law had their baby the day before the Reconciliation service, so I might not have remembered or had the energy to attend that service anyway! I’m glad I didn’t put it off.

    • NancyB

      Congratulations of being a grandparent, and God knew!

    • Winnie Svikhart Supple

      Ever since I decided that any invitation to attend a church event, workshop, seminar or special liturgy was actually an invitation from the Holy Spirit my life has changed. I don’t think anymore ” Can I make it?” ” Is it something that would pertain to me?” Now I immediately think “I’m there”. Thank you God for drawing me closer to You.

    • Anne Mason

      A God-incidence for sure. Congrats on the new grandbaby.

  • John L. Kemmis

    Reeling from trying and failing to address the self-denial challenge from 2 days ago, here is how I found healing in confession. While growing up, I tried to be perfect in what I do. And that continues today. My expectations are so high, I automatically fail. As a convert, confession, confession with someone else is so foreign. Confessing with someone causes me to be accountable for my actions. And the perfection drive within generates a fear of that accountability, a fear of failure that can cause me to miss the point. The point is really for an accountability which reduces anxiety, and encourages success. An accountability that brings my expectations back to a real and achievable level or range. To create in me a positive mindset in reflecting on my actions and their consequences, and as Mike Kelly says, give us a fresh start. Confession helps heal that drive for perfection that I have.

  • Mary Kay

    A GIFT Of HEALING BEYOND WORDS, FORGIVENESS, GRACE, GOD’S LOVE–CONFESSION! DO: Confession ONCE A MONTH, YOU WILL then Have the KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING ( why this is important & a must ) REMEMBER: RESISTANCE, EVIL, FEAR— COURAGE to FIGHT! ASK: ALWAYS CALL on the HOLY SPIRIT for Guidance & your GUARDIAN ANGEL will get you there! And no matter how many years & years you go it’s HARD, but the GUARANTEE that GOD GIVES is overwhelming with FEELING, TEARS & a FRESH SMILEY NEW START!! I ❤️CONFESSION, still hard to go, fight RESISTANCE every-time but I want & NEED GOD’s GIFT 🙏

    • NancyB

      Mary Kay, your description is mine as well. Thank you for putting it into words for me

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    Another reason the sacrament of the priesthood needs to be extended to one and all. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved confession … even when I’ve seriously walked away from God and his creation. The challenge in my area (the Outer Banks of North Carolina) is finding a “light that is always on.” I am open and God will provide. In the meantime, I am envious of you who have the ability to go to confession … just do it … you will be so surprised at how loved you are. Blessings.

  • Rita Gahr

    I wold like to go to confession more because it does give me solace afterwards. The feeling of hope and peace overcome me. But the long walk to Church in bad weather to go to confession prevents me. I am going to try to get there more often, I think I will set this as a new goal.

  • Cshelley

    I went to confession about 16 years ago when my son was celebrating his first Reconciliation. I was told by the priest that I wasn’t supposed to be there because I was remarried and had not had my first marriage to an abusive man annulled. The priest went on to say I could not receive any of the sacraments. I left the confessional in tears. I am thankful the annulment process has gotten easier. I continue to pray for the courage, strength, determination, and perseverance to go through the process so that I can receive all the sacraments but I am longing for Reconciliation and healing.

    • Victor Frauenfeld

      Cshelley, remember that that priest was a human. His words are not God’s words. God forgives all things unconditionally. I pray that you get the strength to go to confession once again. I pray that you receive all the sacraments. Because it is through those sacraments thay we become closer to God. I believe that is what you want, that is what we all need.

      • Cshelley

        Thank you for the encouraging words. Reconciliation is what I want and need but find it pointless if I am living in sin every day by being remarried. Today’s topic/video is the push I need to finish my annulment…I pray.

    • Carolyn Orsi

      Both my husband and I had been married previously. His marriage was in a Protestant Church while mine was in a Catholic Church. Because his marriage was “invalid’, he never had to go through the annulment process. I put off getting an annulment, because I felt that I didn’t have the strength to relive why my marriage had failed. My first husband and I had never been able to have children; however, six months into the marriage with my second husband, I became pregnant. It was a joyful time for both of us. Unfortunately, complications developed, and I miscarried in my fourth month. While I was in the hospital, a priest came to visit me. His encouragement and prayers finally gave me the strength to begin the annulment process. For me, the annulment was a type of confession, realizing what had gone wrong. My second husband and I have now been married for 38 years. Our adopted daughter is 35, and we have three beautiful grandchildren. At a time when I so desperately needed the sacrament of the Eucharist, I was forbidden to participate. I don’t know if the rules are any different now. God bless you on this process. I hope that you find it as fulfilling as I did.

  • Kathy Hogan

    This would be about confession . . . .on Saturday when I know perfectly well that practically every church in town has a priest hearing confessions sometime today! Instead of looking for an excuse I better go. It is odd to me how much I resist going to confession when I know how much better I will feel afterwards! Mathew really hit this one on the head for me.

  • Ann L.

    I don’t go to confession, and I don’t plan on ever going again…..I ask for forgiveness from my God and King, and I know he forgives me, as he does my friends and family of other denominations….I can get a fresh start without reciting sins to a priest,who in past experience of being a cradle Catholic and catholic school graduate,never gave much if any counseling on anything….the straw for me was the priest scandal, thinking of all those who confessed to those men who did abhorrent things,or received communion from them. It nearly drove me from church, did for seven years…I am admittedly now a cafeteria Catholic, and I am at peace with that…..I belong to ministeries in my church, I examine my conscience,bring my sins to Jesus, and am forgiven….end of story.

    I pray and read scripture daily,along with various other materials that help me be a better Christian.

    • Trish

      Everybody needs to forgive someone. I pray that you find in your heart to forgive the priests that have succumbed to evil. They are human too and in need of forgiveness and prayer. Forgiveness does not condone the behavior, but rather cleanses your own soul from bitterness.

      Confession has always been my favorite sacrament since the second grade. But, I will admit, I have had confessions like the ones you reference. I especially remember a confession where a priest actually condemned my sin. Jesus used me to speak to him. I let him know he is the representative of Christ and where in the Bible did Jesus never show mercy? But…what did I learn? I needed that kick in the pants because I tell you, I haven’t committed that sin again (losing my patience and flying off the handle), but at the same token, later, when I entered the confessional and it was the same priest and I turned to leave, he actually confessed to me, and thanked me for reminding him of what his oath of priesthood is about. He asked for a second chance, and that confession my friend was the best one I ever had. 🙂

  • Sarena

    I haven’t gone to confession in the church. I find private times at home or so, where I speak to him.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Private prayer is so wonderful and you are missing a loving opportunity to practice the actual virtue of humility. Ask a friend to help you prepare and support you?

  • Me

    Me? I am hesitant to go to confession again. To me it can be the most powerful of sacraments but it has been ruined by a priest visiting our parish who decided he should criticize my “form”. He was highly critical that I didn’t get some of the initial words right and he was “disappointed” that I needed help remembering the Act of Contrition. I just feel sad about this now. What’s the point if you can’t feel safe to confess? Why did God let this happen?

    • Claudia

      I don’t know WHY God let that happen. . . . but that is not the core of it. We need not understand the why (hard as that can be to accept).

      l was told by a Monsignor in confession when l was 15 or so that my sin put me on “the road to hell”. He terrified me (though l received absolution).
      Because of HIS human failings, l was scarred. But, priests are humans and fallible. He was doing the best he could, l suppose, to motivate me to be “good”.
      Your priest took from you a feeling of safety in the confessional. Shame on him. . . but, forgive his mistake and don’t let it take more from your life now.
      God Bless.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Many confessionals now have the Act of Contrition prayer available within the confessional. A person can write out the prayer and recommended format and take it into a confessional. I don’t think God let this happen; the priest was having an uncharitable moment and probably prays you’re not discouraged to give up because of the episode.
      So, do both your souls a favor and try today! Let us know how it went please. I pray for priests daily. You’re in my prayers too! Have a great day!

  • Mjtav240

    I had committed a sin about 30 years ago that was so awful, I was certain that God would not forgive me. I even thought the Church would excommunicate me. I stopped going to church and all but alienated myself from God. Then he put a friend on my path that very gently led me back to the Catholic faith – so gently I didn’t even realize it! 15 years later, I found myself nervously standing in line, waiting to confess the SIN I knew would get me kicked out of church. Of course, that was not the case. There are no words to describe the feeling I had afterwards when “Jesus” ( in the form of a priest) told me I was forgiven. I walked away, sobbing and praising the Lord for giving me the chance to get this heavy burden I’d been carrying for so long off my shoulders. All I can say is, believe me – there is no sin you can’t confess! God is love!

    • Margaret C

      God bless you!! What an amazing testimony.

  • Charles

    Last Saturday was my FIRST confession. I am being confirmed as a member of the Catholic Church this Easter. I married my wife’ a Catholic, 42 years ago. I have three children, all who have raised in the Catholic Church. I am 63 and, growing up Methodist, have always had a personal relationship with Jesus since I was eight. As an adult, I have sought forgiveness for my sins with him, many times. This was different. Having to put actual voice to my sins, was a little intimidating. I have never really exposed my inner self to another human being like this before. I found myself REALLY hoping that I would be understood, and to be….truly….forgiven. And, then I was. It was a very cathartic experience.

    • Joyce W.

      God bless you Charles as you approach the joy of confirmation. I converted 12 years ago and have found so much richness to add to the faith that I always had.

  • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

    Sometimes seeing the priests face to face in confession makes it harder to be honest about ALL of my sins. I liked going to confession and hiding behind the screen. I felt like I wouldn’t be judged.
    What I have learned is that, when I say my sins out in the open, face to face with the priest, their is a deeper sense of forgiveness and acceptance.
    I find healing in confession

  • Janet Marusiak

    Not sure why I do not go more often as I feel so light afterwards and happy. I only worry that I may forget something. If I think of going to confession as my last that I may not have a chance to go again if I die I can get myself to do a thorough examination of conscience. I have had to take notes to make sure I did not forget when I had lots to say but by going more often and I do try to go every 2nd month if not sooner but there was times it was longer but when I go regularly it makes it easier to remember and to look forward to instead of think of it as a chore to do. Remember we are talking to Our FAther in heaven who wants us to lose the things that are keeping us from being fully with HIm.

  • Roxanne

    Me…I have had similar situations like yours. I would go to a priest and he would interrupt and say”this is just a venial sin” or another priest was rude or insensitive. Well, I kept searching and found 3 wonderful priests that were kind, patient and gave wonderful spiritual advice. I recommend to keep searching and not give up. I am so glad I did. God bless.

  • Cheryl Long

    So I live 30 miles from church. I am worn out by the weekend after driving that 60 miles a day to work. So I stepped out of church for a year now. So I feel that I can’t go to confession if I’m not going to church. Because the sin continues. Plus a few other factors. If I lived in town nothing would stop me. I know and remember how confession feels. Both the anxiety before and the love after. So I continue my prayers of the Rosary for a peaceful solution to my situation.

  • Scott Sowers

    Okay, enough already. I’ll go. I just hope he has enough time and the people behind me don’t get impatient.

    • Claudia

      Scott!
      I don’t know how serious or funny (or BOTH) you meant that. . but l am smiling big. Go Scott!!

  • Clara Turci Depko

    I have been thinking about going to confession here in Florida because I need it. At my church there is no face to face and with two knee replacements I find it hard to stand up and tell my sins I just am distracted. I really started back to confession only a year ago when the Pope had the special blessings of the opening of the doors. And since that time I have been studying what sins are as not to bore the priest. Does that tell you something about how long I was away. Now I am back and I look forward I planned on going today another special blessing this one is by our bishop. So God I hear you

  • Ron

    Matthew Kelly’s book Rediscovering Catholicism eventually led me to confession 11 years ago after a very long absence of a sacramental confession which requires honestly giving up and confessing to everything – my pride held me back so long from completing a proper confession -the blessings that have flowed from this one choice 11 years ago have led me on an amazingly positive journey to bring me much closer to what God has intended all along – an awesome marriage (almost 7 years) and a beautiful daughter (almost 6) / if you’re on the fence regarding confession I would encourage you to take that step – staying vigilant and going back consistently will help get you where God intends you to be – at peace and following God’s plan for your life –

  • Angie O’Mara

    I love Matthew’s words that Confession is refreshing!!! This is exactly how I feel after going to Confession, refreshed, uplifted, and loved. I feel God’s love and comfort deep within my being, and I am So very happy.
    Thank you Jesus, for forgiving me a sinner.

  • David B

    I agree with Matthew confession is a clean slate. I should do it more often than I do. This lent most parishes have Lenten services yet I’ve missed opportunity to go 2 or 3 times already. So last Sunday as I read my church bulletin i saw two more opportunities to attend confession and place them in my calendar.
    I am reminded by Satan of my sins he uses these past transgressions to tell us how bad I am or how bad we are. My last confession a priest told me how bad a lair he is and he will use these against us. However as he resolved me again. I was clean. So as Matthew put it, the slate has been made clean.

  • C McKee

    My dilemma is that I feel as if I am wasting the priest’s time because I haven’t murdered anyone since my last Confession. Seriously, my weaknesses (lack of patience with my fellow humans, for example) and sins are more in the “what I have failed to do” column. My sins are less concrete and thus a bit harder to pinpoint. Maybe I should read about how to examine my conscience! Loving the Best Lent Ever series.

    • I totally understand what you are saying. Consider this… you go about your day and you see this person dressed shabbily, with hair messed up, and you look at them and judge them in some way. Maybe it’s not that person you judge, but maybe someone that is acting in a way that you don’t act, etc… Small sin, yes, but still sinful. We have to strive, I practice this, to see people like Jesus would, and love them where they are. When you catch yourself judging, say a prayer for them.

      • C McKee

        Ginger …Interesting that you suggest saying a prayer for someone. I do that now, for example, when I’m in the line at the grocery store and the cashier looks stressed …OR …I am getting a little stressed because a customer is taking forever to write a check. I think to myself, “Couldn’t s/he have done that part at home and just filled in the amount while others are waiting?” Then, I stop myself and …believe it not! …thank God for giving me the opportunity to practice patience! Yeah, I’m a real work in progress. My Guardian Angel has her hands full. Thanks for you note.

        • LOL on the Guardian Angel!!! Mine too… definitely a work in progress day by day! Great sharing with you!

  • Diana

    I had not been to Confession since probably 1969 when I graduated from high school. But lately I have felt like God kept hitting me in the face with the message to come back. After talking with friends I found that our city has late after work confessions during lent. Long story short – This is my best Lent ever! I have returned and resolve to be the person that God wanted back!

    • I can only imagine how incredible you must feel right now. May that feeling of lightness continue in your heart and mind, and may God continue to bless you.

  • Margaret

    I am glad that one finds forgiveness with the Grace of Confession. I must confess that I am not a ” regular ” one to go to Confession. I do go, but not with regularity. My problem is that I feel wonderful at the time, but a short time later, I feel like ” I didn’t confess that right, I forgot a sin, or the sins of the past return and I wonder if I really confess it before or if I was truly forgiven”. What can I do about this problem?

    • Niove Candida Rosario

      Hi Margaret. I too felt that way until recently when my now go-to Priest told me. God already forgave you for the sins you have confessed so there is no need for you to continue to confess them. When it comes to forgetting to mention some sins, I also feel as you do, but for my next confession I will make sure to say the following after confessing what I remember “for this and any other sin I may have forgotten” I ask for forgiveness. I also bring a small sheet with me with notes to remember all that I need to confess. God bless.

    • I remind myself of my own children. I recall times when they did something they really should not have done, and they apologized to me. I hugged them as if to squeeze that from them, loved them, and never brought that forward as if there was a little piece of me that didn’t forgive them. That’s what unconditional love is, the ability to completely and totally forgive forever, ever though the other person still may be hanging on to the “offense” in some way. Hope that helps!

    • Michelle

      Boy o boy the devil is always working and did not want me to make this post. I used to be very anxious about going to confession either that I would forget something or that what I had to say wasn’t that big a deal. One day I saw someone carry a piece of paper in with them and I wondered why I had never thought of that. Now I have a journal that I use to write down what I want to say during my confession. I examine my conscience most every day and add make my entry. Some times I just write the sin down right after it happened because it is bothering me so much. It has greatly reduced my anxiety level both about going to confession or having to remember ton confess something the next time. God bless all of you who are feeling the resistance against going to confession, may you be moved by the Spirit, I will be praying for you.

  • Mary Blair Cunningham

    I love the phrase “Let go and Let God.” In confession, I can “let go”, walk out the confessional door and “let God.” It is that simple!

  • While I don’t have a regular routine of confession, and had gone as long as 17 years and 10 years without it, the wonderful feeling I get when I leave has not, somehow, encouraged me to go more regularly. I don’t know that it’s fear, but perhaps a life that is too busy and crowded and before I know it I’m standing in front of the priest on Sundays with my arms folded. I still need to work on this because I want to feel free; I want to feel as Matthew describes, not just once every 17 years, 10 years, or 6 months, but as often as possible.

  • Niove Candida Rosario

    I have gone to confession many times before but even after confessing some of the biggest sins in my life I kept confessing the same sins, since I was going to different Priests, until recently when my now go-to Priest Fr John told me “God already forgave you for those sins so no need to continue to mention them.” I guess I didn’t understand how confession worked until that day. I still struggle with what to confess. I do an examination of conscience using the Ten Commandments and do my best with that. I think I have to take what Matthew said on Chapter 28 “Be gentle with yourself” and don’t beat myself up so much and just accept God’s forgiveness without reservations, trusting he has truly forgave me and just move on.

  • Jean Walton

    I use the analysis of a new car. When you have a new car you are careful not to scratch it, not to park where it may get damaged, maybe protect it by keeping in the garage, etc. That first scratch upsets you, and the second, but after that ,oh well, it is what it is. You become less careful and concerned. It can be the same with confession/reconciliation – we come out shiny and new and are more inclined to protect ourself from ‘scratches’, but as more and more time goes by and we notice the imperfections, we get negligent in our diligence to keep ourselves guarded. That is one reason to take advantage of the sacrament often.

    • SHYNE4GOD

      Amen !

  • Marilyn

    Confession is something I truly struggle with. I consider myself a good Christian. I love the Lord with all my heart. I feel that this Lenton season has been very fulfilling to me in so many ways. But, I haven’t been in a confessional for many many years. I honestly have not ever gotten much out of confession and only remember the end having to pray 3 Hour Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s. I started going directly to the Lord on a daily basis and asking forgiveness. I felt that he listened and has truly forgiven me. I struggle with this part of the Catholic Faith but am very devout in my faith with the Lord and love attending mass. I feel I am still a Catholic because of the way I go to confession, what are your thoughts?

    • Ally

      A lot of people feel the same way you do, Marilyn. It is not the Catholic position, but I won’t presume to give you a definitive answer about your relationship with the Lord.

  • jim

    I made a confession after 15 years of not confessing. It was part of a conversion initiated in me by By Christ through catechesis given during re evangelization within our parish. I found out that to go to confession without entering into an ongoing process of conversion is like putting water into a colander….. it doesn’t last long. I learned confession is not like a car wash or like the ‘dry cleaners’ , as pope Francis says. Thanks be to God, I was and am still being helped in this process of conversion by the Church, which did not just say, ‘I got you to confession, see you later’. They helped me by continuing catechesis and formation of small Christian community within the parish, which constantly reminds me my conversion is not finished, and to stop going forward is to go backward.

  • Peggy Rowe-Linn

    I used to hate to go to confession until I started to go to Reconciliation with the Passionist order that has a Spiritual Center in our area. Yes, it is further than the local church, but it is worth the drive. I used the drive to do an examination of conscience. When I arrive, I pray Psalm 51 (“create in me a contrite heart, O Lord “; “blot out my sins”; “restore to me the gladness of your salvation”. . . among other great lines). Now, my approach to this sacrament is totally different. I walk in and tell the priest my name. (I would never have done that years ago.) I tell him what I do for a living (it puts my sins in perspective for the priest). Then, I begin . . . each of the Passionists is unique. One time I went, I had prepared for Reconciliation by using an app that had a checklist and I told the priest. The priest said, “Oh, I hate that app. Please, just tell me the most pressing sin for which you desire God’s forgiveness and mercy.” Wow! I thought I might I have to reflect for a moment, but I didn’t. I knew exactly which one was the most sinful. I blurted it right out and I am not sure that I had ever intended to confess that sin because it was exactly listed on the “app”. To me, God was in that confessional that day and revealed my soul to me. Truly, I had the most contrite heart I had ever had. When I walked out, I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. All the rage I had buried deep within me, I left behind in that little room and walked out a free woman. The mercy of God is that powerful and freeing! Praise God for this beautiful liberating sacrament of unlimited grace!

  • christol murch

    So, are we saying that God’s grace given through confession is better than receiving grace in other ways?
    If I tell God that I am sorry for something that I have done and will not do it again, do I then not receive God’s grace?
    Why do I need to go to confession to receive God’s Grace? Does God think that it is better for me and others to confess to a priest rather than another human being? And, do I always receive God’s grace because a priest hears my confession?

    • SHYNE4GOD

      That’s what I always thought I can confess at home between Me and my God !but after going in a Church and talking with a Priest !I felt such a deeper presence of the Holy Spirit that I never felt at home , a cleansing of my soul in a deeper way as I said the tears came rolling down , I do not feel this at home ! And how lucky did I feel to be able to have this awesome experience at this awesome Lenten season ! And to give it my all this season only makes Easter more special ! Please try it ! God Bless

    • Joy

      Hi Christol, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the priest has been given the authority to give forgiveness. It is the line of succession from God to Jesus to His disciples.

  • Cynthia Wilcox

    Reconciliation is such a beautiful gift. It has taken me a long time to realize this. It wasn’t until I heard Matthew Kelly explain it in his book Rediscover Catholicism.

    • Carlos

      Great point!

  • SHYNE4GOD

    Well after thirty some years I went to confession ! I really wanted to give my All this Lenten season And I did !not only did I feel clean as I was forgiven But I felt a new beginning ! A clean start ! As I was waiting I felt like a bride waiting for her groom , kinda excited to release my sins , and as I was in the confessional booth Tears came strolling down my cheeks and I knew God knew my Heart ! Such a awesome experience!

  • Joy

    After going to confession, the priest reminded me that God loves me and that my sin was forgiven. I didn’t know how to accept His forgiveness. To really believe that I could be forgiven. How? Why? Several times I confessed the same sin and finally I began to understand that Jesus truly loves me so much. To hide from Him because of sin/fear is what the enemy wants. No way!

  • Hope

    Confession and God’s mercy are a true blessing and I am so incredibly grateful to Almighty God. After a huge mistake over a decade ago that was confessed many times, I am still unable to forgive myself. Scrupolosity controls my life in fear of making more bad choices. I go to confession regularly and pray to find the hope and peace that God wants us to have. Thank you God for never giving up on me.

  • Shirley Polidan

    Reconciliation is like having a personal conversation with God. That is how I feel when I’m face to face with the priest. The conversation is the confessing and the absolving is the forgiveness. The feeling of God’s grace as you walk away is unmeasurable. Sure there is a level of nervousness before, but the reward afterwards is by far greater! We as Catholics are truly blessed to have this sacrament of Reconciliation!

  • Laura LaDue

    I had not gone to confession in years. I finally went and the priest said “welcome back”. That was a healing moment. I was not scolded or asked why but was welcomed.

    • Diane

      I had the same experience. Praise God. He is good!

      • Laura LaDue

        Yes. Isn’t it great to feel like you are welcomed into the confessional and not made to feel ashamed?

  • Diane

    I stopped going to confession when I was 13 years old. I had some major health issues and I finally went back 20 years later at the prompting of my mother. I knew I needed spiritual and physical healing. I knew I had to go although I was terrified. I had done some horrible things the last 20 years. I was so nervous and wasn’t quite sure how to do confession so I let the priest know I may need some help. He was very gracious and helped me. After doing a great examination of conscience I realized I had broken every one of God’s Commandments. I was afraid the priest may yell at me. I didn’t know if God would forgive me for breaking every law. I was also so afraid I would have a meltdown and just burst out in tears for finally admitting to my sins. At the end the priest said The angels and saints in heaven are rejoicing for today you have returned home. I was so overcome with emotions I never knew existed. I couldn’t believe that angels and saints in heaven even gave me a glance for the sinful life I lead. To know that I was being welcomed home and that I was loved is the greatest feeling. The guilt and shame that I have been harboring all my life was finally destroyed that day in the confessional by the mercy and grace of God. I go to confession now several times a year. It is one of the best gifts God has given us. The Lord healed me of stage III breast cancer. I came to know the correlation between our spiritual health and my illnesses. If you have not been in a while I urge you to please go. You will be amazed at the mercy of God when His love and peace flow through you to heal you and welcome you home.

  • Connie Whitener

    I too, feel that the sins I confess are repeats of the last confession! But then again I am repeating the same sins so therefore , I NEED TO CONFESS THEM… right? It was brought to my attention, which I’d never really thought about before, that God does forgive us time and time again even if it’s the same sin. I don’t know about you but every time I go and repent for what I’ve done wrong I get very emotional, to the point of tears, EVERY TIME! I’m tearing up now! God’s mercy IS very emotional but the release of these tears are a joy that you can’t get anywhere else. So bring the Kleenex and feel the washing of sin in your next reconsilation visit.

  • Dorothy Cabral

    I hate to admit/ confess this but I haven’t been to confession in probably a year or so. It wasn’t anything that was stressed or done on a regular bases as s child growing up. Don’t get me wrong, we were taught about it but, it never seemed to be a regular routine.
    We were reminded quit frequently that God knows everything we do or don’t do, there’s no hidding the truth from him! We were also taught the God is a loving and forgiving God, So I kind of developed this theary that if he knows my every move and he is a forgiving God I don’t need to go to confession to trash it all up again.
    I need to work On this and start going to confession! I have to admit, when I did go I always left with a good feeling, I felt relieved, cleaned, accept, loved and forgiven. My soul was fresh and cleansed and I was ready to start over in a more loving way, in the image of our Lord!
    I Promise to make every effort to participate in confession on a regular bases now and forever.

  • JudiD

    Our parish held a communal Lenten Reconciliation this past week. Our pastor read Luke 15:1-7 about the shepherd who left 99 sheep to find the one lost and the widow who lost a coin who swept and searched her home until she found it. Both brief stories end with Jesus saying that God rejoices over the one that is found. Fr. Paul asked us to reflect for a few moment on the fact that Jesus rejoices over us individually. Surprisingly to me, I was moved to tears in those moments. It was powerful to feel God’s rejoicing over me! God’s love filled my heart with joy; I felt humbled by how I do not deserve that love, and I was renewed in my desire to live as a beloved daughter of God. I believe that Reconciliation is one of the best things the Church offers to us. It reminds us of how much we are truly loved.

  • carolyn

    I just had my first ever confession through the RCIA program. It was a very powerful and moving experience. I had much to confess and found myself in tears throughout the confession. The priest was very respectful and gentle with me and although I cried most of the drive home, my tears turned to laughter (sounds weird I know) and I actually did feel forgiven. It was awesome.

  • CHERYL A HEINTZ

    Years ago I asked a priest why it seems I sin so quickly after I just went to confession. His answer: It is because you are clean and you see the sin so easily. That thought has stayed with me.

  • ted

    In the booklet, “Divine Mercy Novena and Prayers”, the very first prayer contains these words: “I have offended You grievously , O Beloved Redeemer, but it would still be worse if I were to offend You by thinking that You were lacking in goodness to forgive me. I would rather He deprive me of everything else then the Trust I have in Your mercy.”. Not hard to understand, God is divinely merciful. GO to confession !!!!

  • Tom K

    It has been decades since I have gone to the sacrament of reconciliation. While I have returned to Mass on very regular basis again I know I am still missing all the strength of God I need. I look for the strength to go again so that I can participate fully in the mass and accept communion again. So many fears of humiliation, and embarrassment, and most of all fear that I will still not be able to change the things I need to even asking Christ every day for the strength. Pray I can break through this season and return fully to the sacraments for my spiritual health.

    • Jo Martin

      Praying for you…I’m resisting confession, also. Why? My last confession set me free. The priest reminded me that I was throwing my sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness ! I have an opportunity this morning in 1 hour. Why am I resisting happiness???

      • Teresa

        I resist too. I’m embarrassed and I had a priest reprimand me and my husband for using the rhythm method of birth control , which is taught by the Catholic Church. We were both confused and felt like we were being scolded for doing what we were taught to do. Anyway, it’s made me nervous ever since to confess. I plan to attend the parish reconciliation this coming Wednesday night. Pray for my confidence in the sacrament again please.

        • Jo Martin

          I will!! When you go on Wednesday, go expecting to meet the Prince of Peace!

          • Teresa

            Thank you Jo! I will definitely think that when I go.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Today’s Saturday and lots of Churches having confessionals open at 4 pm. Give it a try and report back on Monday’s screen! Praying for you to take the small step toward the GRACE waiting for you! Have a great day!

  • Magalis Muniz

    I feel a weight has lifted and I feel so light. But after we do have to be careful because the devil is right there afterwards to make you slip again. It has happened to me. I agree with

  • Joe

    Sinning and going to confession means that I get that fresh start Matthew was talking about. In the words of a monk I heard once when he spoke of sin and confession, I fall down, I get back up again. I fall down, I get back up again. I fall down, I get back up again………. 🙂

  • CathieHeenan

    For me after going to confession, I feel like I can breathe again. I worried so much about what I was going to say, then after leaving the confessional, I feel the air is lighter and a weight is lifted off my shoulders.

  • Alice

    I have found healing in confession buy discussing issues with our priest. I think maybe we might all feel like Melissa. Does or Will God Forgive “me”? I feel that way every time I go. But through confession I realize God does forgive us. My mom told me recently, once you are really truly sorry for your sins, it’s over with and you can move on. You don’t need to keep punishing yourself. I think she channels God’s messages to me often. I feel God does forgive us and yes I have found healing in confession. I marked the confession times for Lent (all of them) on my calendar – I plan on going soon. Thanks and God Bless.

  • CT

    The sacrament of reconciliation is a beautiful way to renew my relationship with God.
    It is like telling my husband I am sorry for something I did to hurt his feelings and hearing him say he loves me and forgives me. It is so freeing to hear God say through a priest acting in persona Christi
    that I have been absolved and go and sin no more. The things that were weighing me down are gone and I leave smiling knowing that God loves me and His grace will lead me to be the best version of myself He made me to be. Will I stumble and fall again, of course. I will return to reconcile myself to God again. Tom K this season of Lent and Easter are the perfect time for you to resurrect what you know you are missing. Don’t feel humiliated or embarrassed. Do be humble enough to seek God’s love and forgiveness through the great gift of this sacrament. Be part of the resurrection of Christ at Easter by going to reconciliation and then the joy of the Eucharist. God’s grace be with you.

  • mbs

    What beautiful thoughts in today’s discussion! If only those who fear confession could read the love all of you express at having received the Lord’s mercy!

  • Dixie

    Most times when I confess, it is the first time I have voiced what I am feeling. It is a relief to get whatever is bothering me out in the open. Once you reveal what is bothering you, you can begin to heal. You can take steps to reconcile your problem or you can start the process of change.

  • Robert Stanton

    Tom
    Thank you for your candid and heartfelt comments. I had been away from the Catholic Church for a very long time and it had been 35 years since my last confession! ! Each time I tried to imagine saying “Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been 35 YEARS since my last confession”. I simply froze up with fear. I will keep my story short, I have been back to the Catholic Church for the past 11 years. I go to Mass at least once per week and on average I go to confession 3 times per year. Helping my mother through her journey and death from cancer is what brought me back to the Catholic Church with more passion than anything I had ever experienced growing up in my parish.

    As part of my own healing from the loss of my Mom, I traveled to Ireland to our families home base. I went to confession at Saint Mary’s Priory in Cork. It was among the most beautiful experiences of my life. The priest could not have been nicer or more welcoming. I was completely at peace as I made my confession. I had this very powerful sense that God was very, very pleased to hear from me again 🙂 “Welcome back Bob, I have missed you but I knew you would be back”

    Tom, if you need to try a different location to make your confession, so be it. The good news is that God is truly everywhere and he would love to hear from you, forgive you and shower his grace and love upon you.

    God bless

  • Donna Laires

    It frees you from your burden (s) that you’re holding onto. …

  • Karen

    When I was in a relationship in my late 20’s, I got pregnant. Not knowing the facts about abortion, I aborted my baby. I felt like I was a very bad person. I felt that I had done something that God wouldn’t be able to forgive me for. At that time in my life I went to a weekend retreat for singles who were over 25. I was able to go to confession that night and confessed my sin. The priest was so kind, he didn’t judge me, told me that Jesus loved me anyway. At that moment, I felt the love of Jesus wash over me and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior that night. I knew what I had done was wrong, but God wasn’t going to punish me. He still loved me.
    Ever since I have been able to live with what I did and not dwell on it. God gave me a peace about that situation. What a forgiving God, whatever you have done, He still loves you!! Bring your pain to God and He will be there for you!!

    • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

      Karen, Your last sentence speaks to me “Bring your pain to God and He will be there for you!” Thank you!

  • Joyce

    There’s a box of tissues in our Confessional. I think it’s there just for me😅 because I get so emotional after my confession and absolution. I am overwhelmed by God’s love and the relief that my sins are forgiven..

  • Arelia Yanes

    I too finally went to confession after 30+ years and did at my Emmaus retreat. I was so emotional but it was a beautiful experience. It was a face to face confession and I truly felt the presence of God in the room. I still feel nervous when I go to confession but it’s getting better. I will not allow Satan to ever keep me away from God. My life has changed for the better and each day when I’m faced with life’s tribulations, God is always at forefront. I will ask myself……whatwould God do in this or that situation. God bless all.

  • Deb Daly

    Confession is something that I struggle with. I went all through Catholic schools during my growing up. We went to confession monthly and during Lent, weekly. I remember the stress of waiting in line and trying to come up with some sins when it had only been a week. In fact, sometimes I made a few up because I couldn’t think of any. In my college years I attended a Christian group that wasn’t catholic. I still went to church and attended Mass, but these Christian kids talked about love and forgiveness. I realized that they didn’t go to confession with a priest, but they went directly to Jesus and received His forgiveness. I started to recognize my sin and ask forgiveness of Jesus right away. When saying my prayers at night, I would go over my day with Jesus and ask forgiveness for my sins. I’ve gone to confession for the sacrament a handful of times as an adult, but it’s hard to see the point of going to confession when I’ve already asked and received forgiveness from Jesus. I know that isn’t the Catholic way. It is something I struggle with.

  • Patricia Torrez Perez

    I find it hard to go to confession not because of my sins but because of our parish priest, he is sometimes rude in everyday life and so I hold back to go to confession at times, and he is the only one we have.

    • Christine Hamilton Ruggieri

      Can’t you go to a different church. I still prefer to especially since I am active in my church.

      • Patricia Torrez Perez

        No, we only have one..the nearest one is 160 miles away.

        • Linda Carmelle

          This is an exceptional circumstance. “Be Not Afraid” God is with you. Maybe you can reach out to the diocese for suggestions and resolutions??

      • Patricia Torrez Perez

        No we only have one church, and I also am active in our church.

  • Michelle

    I have watched and followed along with each of these videos, but I flinched when I saw the subject of today’s . I struggle in my heart to find the purpose of private confession when I pray and confess my sins daily. I have gone in the past , do the group confession but have yet to find what that extra something that is in private confession that I have not experienced through prayer and scripture reading.

    • SanctusSanctus

      It’s a Sacrament of Grace that you receive. You wouldn’t pass up a coupon for free merchandise correct? God loves us so much…. Have a great day!

  • Mary

    Think about Jesus waiting for us in the confessional, just wearing the mask of which ever priest is in there.

  • SanctusSanctus

    Regular confession within the confessional, to a priest, keeps me mindful of trying harder to not repeat the same sins. It’s an overt and tangible way for me to be accountable. God is faithful to forgive our sins whenever, wherever…. The confessional is an extra step of true humility.
    The Catholic Church must have valued this practice in distinction to other non-denominational or non-Catholic venues. Because the Catholic Church is the “apostolic tradition” since the time of Christ, I am wondering why other non-Catholic churches don’t value the practice of humble confession and the Holy Eucharist. I respect the authority of Jesus and am so grateful for His love which is further extended through the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession).

  • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

    I don’t go to confession because I am divorced.
    This has been a huge burden on my soul. I pray one day I can find a priest that I can talk to.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Today’s Saturday and 4 pm usually has confessionals open. Just go and ask the priest to help you. You will be so surprised how it happens. Don’t let divorce get in the way of receiving the big GRACES Our Lord bestows upon you for your humility. God loves us.

      • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

        I want to confess but I don’t have a priest to confess to. I once went to my priest and even my Bishop for help when my child was bullied in Catholic School. Later I discovered both the priest and Bishop served in that parish. My Bishop told me that it wasn’t his position “to get involved with individual matters.” That’s funny because Christ got involved with everyone he met! Well, I will continue to seek out a priest for my confession Please pray that I will find him.

        • Joy

          Kathleen, if you live in an area with limited parishes, perhaps you can reach out to the closest next parish through an email or phone for help. The Archdiocese should also have resources regarding any concerns.

          • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

            Joy, I can’t believe this happened but I ran into one of my Sisters of Mercy from HS. I think I will ask her. Or possibly, I can find out the name of the Passionist Priest that touched my heart during one of his sermons when he raised his voice and said “Now, do I have an Amen?” (Smile!) Joy I will keep looking! Thank you!

        • SanctusSanctus

          When I was a kid, the priest at our Catholic school informed our class that one day we may find a need to tell a priest, “Father, I fail to see Christ in you..”. Praying for priests is so important because as ministers of the Gospel and Holy Eucharist, they’re targets Satan goes toward. Families and marriages are other “targets” the Evil One aims.
          So as you instruct your child with love on how to deal with “bullying” and as you continue to seek your own healing, (even if you get to another Church out of town for your benefit), please remember this buddy is praying for you at every raised Eucharist and, I will commit to praying before I walk into the confessional that my other buddies, including you too, are having courage to “fight the good fight”, “run the race to the finish (as St. Paul), and we are all the beneficiaries of God’s grace in receiving a precious sacrament of reconciliation. Wow! I make sentences too long! Have a great day my friend!

          • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

            😊 Your words put a smile on my face. Thank you for your insight and prayers. As for my child being bullied, that happened years ago and sadly; I still hold that grudge towards the Priest and Bisphop. I will actively try to find a Priest today! Thank you God Bless!

          • SanctusSanctus

            I heard someone mention that Gospel of Lazarus and how Jesus’ last words were, ” Untie him; let him go….” And so I also find myself asking, ‘who do I need to personally untie and let go of…’ I found myself reflecting on my frustrations and angry feelings I’ve been dealing with as well….

          • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

            You make a Very powerful comparison! What has tied us up? Lazarus was dead for 4 days and there was apprehension in opening his tomb due to the stench. A dead body tied up in burial cloths.

          • SanctusSanctus

            … and so trusting in Our Lord’s instruction we probably have some persons in life that we need to forgive (untie from my anger). We don’t worry about the stench, just the obedience to do the Will of the Father.
            Wow! (I’m guessing it’s supposed to take the faith the size of a mustard seed…). Have a great day!

          • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

            Yes! “Untie from my anger”
            Wow thanks Have a great day as well!

    • Carlos

      Kathleen, That is exactly why you need to go. These are the heavy burdens that Jesus wants to take off your shoulder. We live in a broken world and we all make mistakes. No human in history, besides Jesus, was ever without sin. Place this burden at the foot of the cross. Give it to Jesus so that he can heal you and take away your fears. God bless!

      • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

        Carlos, I want to confess but I don’t have a priest to confess to. I once went to my priest and even my Bishop for help when my child was bullied in Catholic School. Later I discovered both the priest and Bishop served in that parish. My Bishop told me it wasn’t his position “to get involved with individual matters.” That’s funny because Christ got involved with everyone he met! Well, Carlos I will continue to seek out a priest for my confession Please pray that I will find him.

  • Pauline Lambert Reynolds

    It’s been a year, Time to go. Need to sit quietly and think about the past year.

  • Tony Pantera

    I do not participate in reconciliation on a regular basis, but every time I do it has been like a breathe of fresh air.
    Earlier this week I was feeling the need to go. Today’s reflection has put me over the top. I’m going.

  • Brian28

    If a Non-Catholic Christian challenges you on confession point them to John 20:21-23 where Jesus gives his apostles the authority to forgive sins

    And I love Confession. Sometimes sins sound really good and rational in our heads, but when we’re forced to speak them out loud we realize their true nature. The devil loves to isolate us in a space that makes it easy to rationalize things. Don’t give him that space, go to confession

    • Lisa

      I just say to them, “Do you pray over sick people to get well?” They will say yes. Then I tell them “If God can heal thru you, why can’t he forgive sins through a priest?” I told this to one young man who was completely stunned by this and couldn’t say anything more about it. I’m always afraid to quote scripture because I figure they already read it and are giving it their own spin. Congratulations to you for being more comfortable with it.

      I really like your comment that the devil loves to isolate us where he can get us rationalizing our actions.

  • Clare54

    I healed one year ago by going to confession after many many year’s of avoidance. The shame and guilt I felt for so long kept me from returning to church and receiving the sacraments. In my head, there was no way that I could confess my sin’s to a human let alone a priest. Worse yet I feared being rejected. I listened to the calling to come back to church and I knew that I had to go to confession. I did not expect to hear God’s Words that I was forgiven. The release of guilt and shame left my heart and I felt free and so loved by Our Father. Amen. Thank You Jesus!

  • pennyd

    Some sins break civil laws. Errant priests repeatedly opted for confession rather than confronting the illegal reality of their actions sexually abusing boys. Laws against rape now confront errant men who made it to confession on Saturday after Friday night’s actions raping a woman in order to take Communion on Sunday. Confessing a murder or theft in confession doesn’t spare individuals from facing criminal charges. Confession should not be used as a means of escape from the reality and ramifications of one’s actions.

    • Linda Carmelle

      It sounds like this may be a personal experience ? Confession should never spare a priest consequences of such actions. Listening to personal accounts of victims testimomy reminds us of the range of serious sins commited by ordained priests. There are many priests who have had those circumstances go public with details of their trials and convictions too. I pray you receive justice from God if this case is true for you or someone you loved. It takes an extraordinary amount of forgiveness on the part of victims to cope and much therapy. May God assist you in all your needs ,my thoughts and prayers go up to heaven on your behalf.

  • Barbara Levich

    I am a convert and I have always struggled with going to confession. I absolutely know I am a sinner but becoming aware of specific sins is a battle I’m having with Satan. I wish it were possible to have a spiritual adviser to help me prepare for confession.

    • Lisa

      Find a priest you really like and ask him. If you don’t know one, start going to mass at different parishes and ask God to show you who He thinks would be good for you.

  • Mary Jo Wilder

    My husband and I have going to monthly confession for several years now. We go on First Saturday, which is today!! It has become our normal!! We see the same people in line monthly and we feel very good about this decision. It is never easy to confess your sins but preparation for me is essential. I like to look at an examination of conscience just to keep me honest!! Also, I am studying a book called “7 Secrets of Confession” by Vinny Flynn. It has been one of the best studies I have done. The group who is doing this study is passing it out to our parish on Easter Weekend. That is how much it has impacted our celebration of this sacrament!! Glad to be on this journey with all of you!!

    • Lisa

      This talk showed up on a First Saturday. How cool is that.

    • Carl

      Dear Mary Jo,

      I just wanted to say “Thank You” to you and your husband! I was planning on going to confession when I read your post yesterday and liked the idea of using the first Saturday of the month. I mentioned it to my wife and she agreed. As God would have it, it was too late to make it to the 2:00 PM confessions, but I discovered that there was an evening Mass and Confession at our neighboring parish. What a gift!

      The whole experience was beautiful. In short, the priest’s message was what we learned from the Resurrection. Jesus did not return with anger or punishment for those (including Peter) who betrayed Him, but with a message of Forgiveness and Love.

      And, thanks to you, I now have a Spiritual Director!

      God Bless,
      Carl

  • Carlos

    I was one of those people who convinced myself virtually my entire life that I didn’t need confession…until I did. Ten months ago, I experienced a life changing event that rocked me to my core. It caused me to question the value of my life and brought to light my own sin and the ultimate betrayal of the one who I thought loved me most, my wife. The lack of self worth and shame brought me to my knees. It took me about two weeks for this fear and shame to convict me to go to confession. To say that I feared the Lord at that moment was an understatement, but it really caused me examine my conscience thoroughly. I cried throughout the confession as I was completely broken. Afterwards and through my penance, I truly felt the Lord’s presence and a peace settled over me like never before. I didn’t even have to hear the words as this peace showed me physically that I would be okay, even though my life would change forever. I cherish that memory and find that it calls me back to confession constantly. God wants and desires our repentance, but it is absolutely essential for us to receive that spiritual healing we need!

    • Lisa

      Our Lady of Medjugorje said “There is no man who does not need monthly confession.” I am so glad that when you finally went, God welcomed you with hugs and kisses.

  • Cathy Fullan

    I strayed from the Church and from following God’s Word for almost 20 years. I sinned gravely, and although I wanted to go back, my guilt Prevented me from doing so. One day I was having a party, and I had invited a friend I’ve known since 1st Grade (we are in our early 50s now). He is a priest, and so I very spontaneously asked him to hear my confession. We went into another room, and I spilled it. I spilled everything, and I cried as I did so. My friend was sweet, non-judgmental, and compassionate (just like Jesus!). He raised his hand over my head, and through God I was forgiven. The feeling was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I am beyond blessed to have my friend in my life; he is my constant Confessor, and my Spiritual Coach. Every confession and every penance is a reminder of God’s love and mercy. God bless you all.

  • Carl

    Like many of us, I had been away from confession for quite a few years until I went last Lent (as a result of this forum!). I told the priest that I had been away from confession because I felt like a hypocrite – go to confession and then go out and commit the same sins all over again. He smiled and pointed out that that is “exactly” the reason we have confession. He explained that God knows we are imperfect and will not get it right the first time, so we keep trying. As Matthew stated, I too “need a lot of fresh starts.”

    The real benefit has been that confession has helped me to amend my life. I didn’t want to feel like a hypocrite; feel embarrassed about having to confess the same sins; or, especially, feel like I am being disrespectful to God by repeating the same offenses and repeatedly asking Him for forgiveness. I’m still a L-O-N-G way from being a saint, but I have become a better version of myself – a work in progress.

    Peace & Blessings to you all for contributing and making this a wonderful experience!

    • Lisa

      Pope John Paul II said that we all commit the same sins over and over, but it is like dust. We have to dust often and not let it build up.

  • Deanna DiLorenzo Powell

    I have NO desire to be perfect.
    Perfection is God’s work in me and it often requires suffering…. so I would be very happy to skip it for now.
    He always gets His Way with me.
    His Favor decends and I can’t seem
    to refuse Him.
    I hope He realizes what a mess I am
    and stops this insane futile
    obsession of Perfection
    Father, your piece of dust
    is exhausted !
    I confess:
    I AM ABSOLUTELY NOTHING !
    Deanna Powell

  • Kathleen Spector

    I can relate to Melissa’s experience of waiting in line and feeling nervous as well as disappointed in myself. I think, “Here I am again, having done so many of the same things I have asked forgiveness for in the past ( even last month or three months ago!)
    I often wonder if Jesus rolls his eyes and says here she is again!?
    It’s then that I experience the invitation to be forgiven (70 times 70) and thank God for being God and I thank Jesus for my salvation and courage to approach him and be reconciled!

  • Lisa

    We call it confession, but the church calls it reconciliation because when we feel shame, we don’t want to talk to God; yet God is exactly who we need. It is the priest’s job to get us talking again.

  • Alex Marquez

    My Journey back to Jesus was thru confession I was so desolate and remorse about going to church again because of who I had been and what I had done, but I knew that deep down in my soul I was in trouble and like the Prodigal son I was welcomed back and it was just so phenomenal how life felt I was able to receive communion again and able to feel like I had never really left, but as I realized my heart knew where I was all along but I had taken the long journey back Home and every time I go to confession i remember that time .

  • ” if you think you’ve got hell inside you go to confession, confession evicts hell.” (Fr. John Corapi)

    I tell everyone including my kids, confession is the door of Christ’s Mercy.

    Happy April 1st! 🌹

  • Kathy

    I probably say the act of contrition 3 or4 times
    everyday. I have not been to confession for at least 6
    Or 7 years. I learned ,during that time, that I have a serious heart condition, so, the first few years the cardiologist didn’t want me in large gatherings
    as I could pick up a virus that would put me at risk of of complications do to my heart. I still have the condition but it has improved so I can go to confession and mass except during the flu season. I got so used to not going that now I’m afraid to go. I read the daily mass readings each and every day and do various novenas and follow the Dynamic Catholic in various seminars they have during the year. I really could use some prayers to get myself to confession so I can feel peaceful and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

    • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

      I will pray for you Kathy!

  • Amy Reinhardt

    I share Melissa’s nervousness when standing in line for confession. I start to get little butterflies in my stomach, but the moment I sit down in front of the priest and begin speaking… those butterflies disappear. I think it’s because God fills every confessional with so much love and comfort because He knows how difficult it is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to speak our sins. I’ve always loved the concept that our slate is wiped clean after confession. I walk out of that room feeling lighter than I did before, and then I feel even lighter after I’ve performed my act of penance. I’m definitely going to confession before the Lent season concludes.

  • Vicki Passier

    I have not gone to confession for many years. I go to Mass regularly and I belong to a church and it is the one where I made my communion and confirmation. I have been confessing directly to God when I pray each day. I feel that he hears me and forgives me. I say prayers for penance and I follow that up with the prayers we were taught to say. Is this wrong?

    • Lisa

      Our Lady of Medjugorje says “There is no man who does not need monthly confession.” The church says we must go once a year. The church says we must confess any mortal sins.

  • Going to Confession is always an exercise in overcoming resistance….but afterward I often wonder why I don’t do this more often! That fresh start/clean soul feeling is amazing!

    Confession has healed me and seen me through tough times in many ways, but especially when I took the priest’s counsel as God speaking to me. Obedience to that counsel, however difficult it was, has given me the ability to make painful but necessary decisions that I wouldn’t have had the guts to do otherwise.

  • Arthur Brown

    My priest has explain that confession is a celebration with God. We deposit our sins and mistake and give them to Him to lift them off of my Spirit. Going to confession is not going to have God punish you for your sins but so he can love you and remove the sin from your spirit so that your spirit can continue to learn and change and to continue to celebrate God’s love with everyone and to help me and you establish the right and wrong and to help us not to keep doing the same old thing. Because now when temptation of doing or saying something that is wrong I can reach out to God and say, ” God you love me and I want to always love you and it is with your love I can overcome my sin, temptations and if I fail I know you will be there to love me and all I have to do is ask you through confession to remove the heavy burden off of my spirit that you love. God Bless each everyone of you through your Lenten Spiritual journey and my it continue after Lent with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • Edward Curtis

    Heh, I think God is trying to push me to go to confession. Just in the car a few minutes ago, I was listening to the song “Lay it Down” by Jennifer Knapp. And though Ms. Knapp is not a Catholic, the song captures for me what the essence of Confession is. “Lay it down, say it’s all my fault, all my fault …. it’s the hour of my healing, of my healing, yeah.” And then I come home and watch this video. I don’t think the timing is a coincidence. It’s God speaking.

  • Mary Farrell Gardner

    I always worried that I’m going to forget something. This time I went to an online examination of conscience to remember where it is I have fallen short. I took some notes and carried them with me to Confession. I felt like it was a really great experience knowing I looked at the big picture.

  • JayAW

    When I was growing up, the priest in the area where I lived was extremely judgemental and took every opportunity to blast everyone for not being right with God. Even Christmas Eve masses involved him pounding his fist on the lectern rather than simply wishing everyone a blessed Christmas to all. From that experience, I never thought I was truly forgiven whenever I went to confession because according to this priest, I was never right with God anyway. Many people left the church because of this priest, including me when I grew up. It took me over 10 years to go back to church and I lived in a different area where the priests were more graceful and welcoming. Also, I want to learn how to be right with God rather than being verbally lambasted by a judgemental and scornful priest. I’m grateful to Mother Mary for bringing me back, but it’s taken a long time for me to get over that feeling that I’m never good enough.

    • Linda Carmelle

      It seems as though its normal for us to hold onto negative memories and not let them go. Priests make an impression on our soul as they represent our Lord during this time of reconcilliation hearing and responding to our confessions. Realizing that all Gods’ children make poor judgement calls can help us let go of these experiences.Even priests go to confession,many a priest has shared that with the parish community.Its possible the priest who acted that way years ago also regrets the behavior now and changed too. Give him the benefit of the doubt and realize change takes along time to occur,for you and maybe even for the priest. Mother Mary helped you to move forward and God will work on helping the priest too.

  • Arthur Brown

    My son just came in and told me that is friend who has cancer and has had a tumor removed is having a benefit dinner for him. I talk to my wife and she is not up to going out especially to a place that has smoking because of her lungs. I thought about it and I can donate $10 to him to help him out. After I talked to my wife about giving money we decided to increase our donation to $20. We felt it would be better because we have the money at this time to double the donation to $20. God will use the $20 as he sees fit and he gave me the money so it is my responsibility to use God’s gifts to help another person. God Bless you in your Lenten Spiritual Journey with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • vavalen

    Maybe if more people go to confession priests will start giving more confession. Maybe if more priest give more time to confession more people will come. I don’t know .. I think it’s the culture. In Venezuela I was used to have plenty of confession times on Saturdays and Sundays. There was really no excuse. Let’s change the culture towards confession!!! Don’t be afraid!! you don’t have to tell the priest the whole story!! people who take more than ten minutes are probably giving excuses. Don’t give excuses! the people behind you also need the sacrament. Confession is fast and easy and so much needed!! Confession is between you and God and the priest is the intermediate guy. We need him for catharsis. God really thought about everything.

  • Mel Babin

    I sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday a few years ago. God spoke to my heart and told me to go to confession right then and there. Don’t worry about who the priest is, or who sees you, just go now. I just sat and cried for some time scared to go in front of the priest I knew so well. My priest just sat back, listened to my life’s story and handed me the tissue when needed. It was an absolutely beautiful experience. Since then, I have had such a wonderful transformation back to my joyful self, free of the burdens of my past. God loves us unconditionally, never forget that! He is waiting for us to seek His forgiveness and love. When we go, our past is forgiven, we can move forward, and be the person we are meant to be. Never doubt God’s love and His mercy.

  • Maria

    I remember going to confession during grade school. I had already gone a few times over those past few years since my First Confession. I remember doing the Examination of Conscience and it dawned on me the seriousness of one of the little sins I uncovered: lying. I probably didn’t do it a lot, just a few times when it was convenient to keep me from getting in trouble with my parents, but I realized for the first time that maybe I should ACTUALLY, REALLY stop it now. So I resolved never to utter a false truth like that again.
    Over the years I never tried to blatantly lie. If I did something wrong and I have to tell someone, I tell them. I usually have to gather up some courage, but I do it. All these years I’ve never really had to worry about losing another person’s trust because I already intend to be genuine. There are many vices I have to contend with, but of the ones I deal with on a daily basis, this is not one of them. Praise be to God! I hate to think of how my life would have been different otherwise.

  • Shannon

    When I was a kid, I loved going to Confession, but when I hit my teens I became so nervous and ashamed and stopped going. Three years ago, my senior year of college, I worked up the courage to go back…and the priest (thank goodness he was behind a screen) laughed at one of my sins. My confidence was completely destroyed, but I’m going to pray for the strength to confess on Friday.

    • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

      Maria, finding the right priest maybe your answer. Find a priest whose sermons touch your heart and he will be the priest you will need to confess to. I am looking for that priest too!

  • Janice Mercado

    I’ve been going to confession for the last 20 years since I went to RCIA. When people ask me how can you do that I respond and say, why not its actually “free” therapy with God as your therapist! For the most part I experience awesome forgiveness from God through the priests of my parish. This past week I was going to confession as our parish suggested we come the week before holy week to avoid long lines and have more time. It was a time when our SOR students would go so I went just prior to when they would come and line up. I decided to go to a priest that I had never been to at the suggestion of someone else in my parish. Unfortunately after I poured out my heart the priest looked at me and just said “are you finished yet, I have a lot of kids in line and I need to get going with them.” I felt very upset as I left the confessional. I only had experienced that one other time in the last 20 years. I still keep going over that in my head and realize I need to forgive the priest too as he seemed really stressed that day.

    • Linda Carmelle

      Priests are human,some make poor judgement calls, some do get stressed too. I’m glad you realize you needed to forgive the priest. I’m sorry that moment sticks in your memory and hope you have much better ones in the future.

  • Linda H

    When I was a kid my mom made us go to confession every 2 weeks I believe. Maybe it was once a month. I know we always did before First Friday. For a while the Catholic school I attended to us to confession during the school day maybe once a month as well. I remember thinking “why does my mom think I’m such a bad person that I need to go to confession all the time?” Now I know it was to form that habit and ingrain how to go to confession. Years ago when I was going through some struggle I felt the urge to go to confession. At this time I was also frequently visiting a Catholic forum online. I commented about going to confession and hoping it would make my situation better. Someone commented back something to the effect that I must have done something wrong to put me in that struggle and assumed that’s why I went to confession. I think too often that’s why people avoid confession- they haven’t done anything terribly wrong that they feel needs immediate attention.
    I am not good about going to confession. I fell out of the habit and my husband and kids don’t understand the need to go. A couple months ago (I went. It had been years since the last one) It practically moved me to tears. The feelings were so strong. Days and weeks following I was very conscious of my thoughts and actions. As time has gone on I’m less aware. I don’t know how many people are reading Matthew’s book Resisting Happiness along with these videos but in the book he compares going to confession with washing your car. He compares how careful you are to keep it clean at first and then gradually let little things slide until before you know it, it’s a mess again. I think that is a perfect example of how many people view their spiritual life and confession. A new friend, who’ve I’ve met on here, tells me how the devil is at work whispering in my ear turning my thoughts and actions negative. That’s a good indicator for me that it’s time to go to confession again.

  • Linda Keefe

    I have found lots of healing in confession and also incredible inner peace.

  • Constance Martin

    I converted to Catholicism in 1981 after having first looked into my Anglican faith and discovered that I was an Anglo-Catholic, rather than a Protestant-leaning Anglican.

    I have learned so much and been so encouraged by reading all these posts! I can relate to so many of the difficulties people are having with Reconciliation [ie. procrastination for one reason or another…fear of a negative or dismissive reaction to my confession (though rare)…embarrassment…feeling I can’t be forgiven…anxiety over possibly forgetting a sin…and on], even though I absolutely love this Sacrament.

    Things I find encouraging:

    The idea of writing sins down asap, to get them out of my head, in prep for reconciliation…

    …going more often [I have been going every 1, 2 or 3 months but have problems remembering sins even though I feel the weight of them = making a goal to go every week as a good, new habit…I had been told, once, that once a week is scrupulous]…

    …asking for forgiveness for ‘all these and any other sins I may have forgotten’ and trusting that the Holy Spirit, in his love for me, will certainly keep bringing to the fore any sins I am ready to be made aware of, when I ask…

    …and just the knowledge that I am not alone in having struggles with Reconciliation.

    Thankyou, all, for the generosity of your honest, open disclosure of your struggles! …And thankyou, also, for how you encourage each other! So beautiful. :o)

  • Maria Garcia

    I have experienced the joy in confession! It has helped me strive harder to sin no more after repeatedly committing the same sin. I have lately felt guilty for constantly committing the same sin and tend to get upset with myself.

    • Paul

      Maria,
      I have similar feelings after making my confession. I feel a great uplifting feeling after being absolved from my sins. I feel hopeful that this program has given me the tools I need to escape the vicious cycle of sin.

    • Carl

      Here is a copy of a post from Lisa. I found it helpful and hope that you do as well:
      “Pope John Paul II said that we all commit the same sins over and over, but it is like dust. We have to dust often and not let it build up.”
      I went to Confession and Mass last night and spoke with the priest about my own struggle with the same thing. He said that we need only to look to the Resurrection to witness Jesus’ message of Love and Forgiveness and pointed out that Jesus did punish, condemn, or seek revenge on those (including Peter who denied Him three times) who betrayed Him. So, “Our job is to Love and Forgive – including ourselves.”

  • I sometimes think the Priest gets tired of me; the same sins every month or so, a few odd ones thrown in just to keep things interesting.

    But it’s the same ending every time “I absolve you of your sins”

    • Paul

      I agree with you James, I feel repetitive at times aldo. I think this is because I struggle with being honest at all times, and ask for the strength I need to keep from repeating these same sins. I am hopeful that with using many of the same principles and habits that best lent ever offers, that I can replace the bad habits with good habits and escape the repetitive cycle.

    • Carl

      Hi James,
      I felt the same way and it kept me from going to confession for years. I told it to the priest when I went to confession last Lent and he reminded me of two things: (1) we are creatures of habit – both good and bad ones – and (2) that Jesus knows that we are not perfect. If we were, we wouldn’t need confession.

      So I (we) just keep trying. I now go regularly and have found that “the same ending” (absolution) is very nurturing and freeing – and helpful in breaking the cycle of repeating the same sins.

  • Seeker

    If I’m to be perfectly honest, my most healing experiences have been with “Confession” in a confessional not “Reconciliation” face-to-face”. The anonymity and lack of sensory stimulus in the confessional is very liberating and spiritual to me. I find I’m more forthcoming in stating my sins and less self-conscious. I find face-to-face more like a therapy session and if I’m seeking spiritual counsel I use it that way. Also, while communal penance services can be uplifting I don’t find them an adequate substitute for confessing and enumerating my sins aloud.

  • Sandra

    I go to confession once or twice a year. I struggle with this. Sometimes
    I feel forgiven and sometimes I don’t.
    It is hard for me to go face to face with a priest and tell him my sins which I am ashamed of. I really have to prepare before I go and acknowledge
    that I have sinned and have a true
    contrition for my sins. Please pray for me. I need help.

    • Carl

      Hi Sandra,
      A friend went on a retreat and shared something very helpful with me. Somehow, the priest recognized that she did not feel renewed and she admitted that she didn’t. He told her that upon receiving absolution, we are all as clean and pure as the day we were born. She said that by picturing that innocent little infant, she felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

      I encourage you to continue in prayer as the Lord WILL – not “maybe” – help with your dilemma. It is the only thing that has worked for me.

    • Seeker

      Sandra, see my earlier post. You may find, as I do, that it’s often a more profound experience to go to confession in a confessional rather than face-to-face. If your parish did away with confessionals, seek one out elsewhere. [I wonder if there is a correlation between Catholics not going to confession as often and getting rid of the anonymity of the confessional? Just a thought.]

  • Patricia F Havener

    Pat: At lease 10 to 12 years ago I went on a Silent Retreat (7 days). Our priest was exceptional. And while I was going to confession pretty regularly, Father gave us the opportunity for a General Confession. That is, you review and confess sins that you have confessed in the past. First, the preparation is a wonderful soul searching experience. While I knew our Lord had forgiven me, I did carry within me a heavy guilt, that is I did not forgive myself. The sense of joy and elation I experienced after my General Confession is still with me. My relationship with our Lord is so much more open, I know he loves me and has forgiven me — and I have been able to forgive myself. Even now, I go to confession at least once a month — and, again, on occasion, I will repeat a sin from my past and it strengthens me.

  • Teresa Adohu

    This has been a great week of reflection here. But this one really touched me. I did not get to confession today, but I will go. The point Melissa made about not deserving Gods love and forgiveness but getting it anyway is so true. I feel I don’t go to confession because I don’t deserve forgiveness but that’s the point. Laz’s story and the beautiful responses also are grace to me. Bless you all.

  • Jim Baran

    So why are we talking to priests for confession? I don’t get that. Why aren’t we talking directly to GOD? Why isn’t a communal penance, just taking part in the act, then talking to God enough?

    • Seeker

      Because Christ established the sacrament we call “confession” or “reconciliation” on Holy Thursday. Consider reading the catechism of the church on this topic and then speak to a priest about. Jim, will pray that you find meaningful clarification for your questions.

    • Linda Carmelle

      We are not carbon copies,clones, cookie cutter versions of human beings.Neither are the sins we commit and how each sin makes each person feel or even when the person may realize that some act or lack of an act may actually be a sin. Thats why we don’t have a communal penance,its not just an “act” ,reconcilliation is a privledge and a holy sacrament.We each have an individual relationship with our God,we are catholic,disciples of our Lord and Savior.We honor this relationship with an individual accountability of our very selves.Confession and penance are individual and personal. Participate in the reconcilliation proces and ask a priest for clarification too. Also see the quote above from St. Faustina that Mich Smi provided. Confession can be the time when children of God receive education ,when needed and desired.

      Have a blessed week.

  • Mich Smi

    this good advice reminds me of what St. Faustina said in her Diary: “We should derive two kinds of profit from Holy Confession: 1. We come to confession to be healed; 2. We come to be educated – like a small child, our soul has a constant need of education.” (377)

    • Linda Carmelle

      Thank you for sharing that quote!It is excellent to be reminded of both aspects of confession.

  • Ted Leon

    I kept going to confession And confessing the same sin over and over to the point where I felt that God wouldn’t forgive me because I kept doing the same thing. Well, in God’s time he freed me from that sin and I’m convinced that the humility it took for me to keep going back was instrumental in finally being freed. Does that make sense?

  • Marie Starns

    I went to reconciliation today. It was a beautiful and cleansing experience. When the priest gave me absolution he asked me to picture Jesus in my mind, with his face bleeding, beaten, spittle up on his face. And then he asked me to state that I was sorry for my sins and for hurting Jesus. I felt like I was talking directly to Jesus. It made me realize how much suffering Jesus took on for me and for every single soul that ever was or ever will be. How can we not take the advantage of reconciliation to tell God how sorry we are for our sins since he gave us his only begotten son to die for us so we might have eternal life .

    • Seeker

      Beautiful story, Marie. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Margo

    Well, Matthew, this Lenten video got me to go to Confession tonight. It is only about three years since I last went. And what I was really seeking was healing. I don’t feel clean or renewed, but I do feel that my burden has been halved. Also, I feel that just maybe if I continue in prayer, the Lord may work on my dilemma.

    • Carl

      Hi Margo,
      A friend went on a retreat and shared something very helpful with me. Somehow, the priest recognized that she did not feel renewed and she admitted that she didn’t. He told her that upon receiving absolution, we are all as clean and pure as the day we were born. She said that by picturing that innocent little infant, she felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

      I encourage you to continue in prayer as the Lord WILL – not “maybe” – help with your dilemma. It is the only thing that has worked fo rme.

      • Margo

        Thank you much for your reply, Carl. I will keep the image of myself as a newborn in my mind, full of joy and expectation. I know the Lord is working on my dilemma. In His time.

  • Daniela D.

    It feels great to tell someone about your sins, someone that will not judge you but grant you forgiveness, There’s an immense power on saying out loud what weights in your heart, because you know it but when you listen to yourself confessing then you are taking responsibility and then and only then you are ready to be forgiven.

  • Patricia Tersigni

    I have found healing through confession by freeing my soul of things I have done and things I have not done. It isn’t easy to confess but necessary to feel free.

  • Clara Turci Depko

    I wanted to do a follow up of my experience. I went to confession yesterday and it was an experience I never had before. When I walked out of church something different something had changed in me and I felt it. I cried and felt free. It was a feeling that my hungry I had been looking for was being feed. I felt closer to God. I was touched by God and I know there is more for me. I look forward to this journey and where God is leading me.

  • Margie Suarez

    I feel the need and the prompting to go. It seems like something is always getting in the way, but I am going…
    I use to confess to the priest that I hated to go to confession. I confessed that several times.. One day I went and I told the priest. “I don’t hate confession anymore.” When I would make a good confession I would leave the confessional so much lighter, happier. This grace changed my mind about reconciliation. 🙂 God is call us to Himself.

  • Monica Schroeder Cancienne

    I had an experience of confessing the sin of contraception use. I confessed it a couple of different times that I went to confession. The Lord lead me through a process of seeing women speak about using the pill and the loss of a child they may have had. At a healing retreat I had to forgive myself for that sin and I never spoke of it again in reconciliation. I do speak of the healing that God gave me that day, it was such a weight off my soul I did not even know I had been carrying.

  • Kevin

    I had also not gone to confession for 30 some years but to church regularly when my aging mother and father moved to be closer to us. Dad and I would go every week to church as mom was home bound until he became sick and passed on to his reward. His example and my longing to be right with God after is passing took me to confession. Our parish priest welcomed me back fully into the church that day with the most kindest and loving words after hearing 30+ years of sins. God was indeed with him and me that in that small room.

  • Anne Parry

    God is all frogiving and confession is a beautiful way of telling the priest (representing God) what you have done and getting forgivien!! It is an awesome feeling. God loves all of us so much and is all forgiving. Look how he died on the cross to forgive our sins!!

  • Judy

    After going to confession, I feel like a burden has been lifted from my heart… a burden I didn’t even realize I was lugging round. It’s a freeing experience. There have been a few times when my heart speaks to me, “Go to confession and make up with Jesus.” There is an antsiness I feel, not at going to confession, but my soul is restless until I go reconcile with Christ.

    Two weeks ago, I decided to go to confession. As I walked toward the confessional I wondered what sins I was going to confess. I asked the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. Only after, “Father, forgive me. My last confession was during Advent…” that the Holy Spirit revealed my sin. My eyes started to well up with tears at the realization that I needed to own up for my behaviors during a situation. It was time to put on my big girl pants and accept that my behaviors, in those moments, were not my best moments, yet I am redeemable. I reconciled with Jesus, and my heart started to mend.

  • Julia

    So Im a young teen on this site, and theres something I’ve been meaning to confess but I’m honestly terrified of how our priest will react. I have one side of me saying its okay to be this way and another shunning me for it. Any advice?

    • Erin O’Connor Killeen

      Julia there is no sin that a priest hasn’t heard! You will feel so much better when you confess and are absolved… go to a priest that you feel comfortable with . Tell him you are nervous and apprehensive.. I hope you do and I pray you will find peace !

  • Emma Spaulding

    I have to admit, that I rarely go to confession. I can really only think of four times that I have gone: first time because I had to, other two because they were offered right after Mass, and last time was last semester since I went on a retreat. I can say though when I went to confession during that retreat, I felt like a new person afterwards, getting that fresh start that Mathew talk about in his video for today. I was nervous, not knowing what to say, how to say it and being afraid of messing up. There really is no way to mess up, the priest is there to hear your sins, pray for you, and they asking God for forgiveness, when He already has given to us. I feel like I should go to confession as least once a year, but my parents really never made it a big deal if we did not go. So being at college, that habit of not going is hard to break, but I hope with the help of God and the influence of my friends, I will go at least once a year.

  • lizmvr

    I worry before going into the confessional, too. Then, yes, after I do my penance, I do feel lighter. I do worry about sinning again after confession, which I do unfortunately, too. I just need to learn to go more regularly rather than once a decade. I’m sure it would be healthier for me to feel the lightness more often.

  • Sandra Hutton

    Confession to a priest is something I struggle with as a Catholic. God knows my sins and my heart and I sorrowfully confess directly to God with every sin I knowingly commit. I feel to do otherwise would be offensive as His Passion was all about His salvation for a wretch like me. So for that reason I do not confess my sin to man but to my God. Where am I going wrong?

    • Linda Carmelle

      The priest hearing your confession represents God in that moment. The priest at mass ,for instance also represents Jesus at the lat supper when he prepares the communion celebration for us. The priest represents the chosen apostles sent to all corners of the earth to help spread the Word of God. You are misunderstanding some principles of the faith. Whenever we utter the words “I feel” thats an indicator that some truth is missing and we are interpretting the faith in our own way. Go to cofession and use the time to ask the priest that very question…Is it offensive to the Passion of our Lord to go to confess our sins to a priest. I’m sure the priest can explain it better than I have. You asked where are you going wrong,so you already realize that you must be misunderstanding reconcilliation. Thats human,we are not the ones who went through seminary and teachings of the catholic faith. Its good to gain knowledge,wisdom,and open your mind and heart to Gods’ Ways.

      Blessings to you on your Journey of Faith.

  • I’m a convert and when I came into the Church I couldn’t understand why people were so uptight about confession. It seemed like a good deal to go tell your sins (your problems, struggles) to a person who didn’t charge a dime, since we go to counselors and psychologists who charge over $100 an hour! Over the years, I have had times it was hard to humble myself to confess particular sins, but every time I’ve heard the prayers of the priest as he absolves me in the name of Jesus, there is an inflow of consolation from God and a feeling that a weight has been lifted. I leave with a lightened, more joyful heart, at peace with God.

  • Tree Dee

    I am so sad and worried for my family! My son has gotten himself in huge trouble with the law and is in jail right now. Anyone reading this please pray for him and my entire family. I just want him not to give up on God/Jesus and know that no matter what he has done that God loves him and will get him and us through this terrible thing.

  • Bernadette

    I have always felt a heavy burden is lifted off of my back when I go to confession. I have learned if you go to confession during lent and go to mass on divine mercy sunday you won’t have to go to purgatory for your sins. Jesus will wipe that all away!! How awesome is that

    • Bernadette

      You receive a pliminary indulgance

  • Jackie

    I am blown away by this video! I can’t even begin to tell you how long it’s been since my last confession. Most of my life I’ve felt that my sins and the forgiveness of them were between God and me! I don’t need a 3rd party to get involved. Listening to Matthew and reading the comments has me wanting to go right now! Of course it’s 7:30 on a Sunday night, lol..I will wait until official confession hours. But I am going to go before Easter. Thank God this group was brought to my attention..I want to be the best person I can be..and this is definitely the best Lent ever!! Love to all..

  • Jimmy Smith

    I find great relief in confusion a closeness to Jesus

  • Nicole M.

    Just like Matthew, I love fresh starts. I love the start of a new year, a new week, or even the start of a new day. I feel refreshed and ready to put the past behind me. The thing is, I’m not really sure when the last time I went to confession was. Just like Melissa, I get nervous thinking about or going to confession. I want to get past that nervousness despite any feelings I may have and take that step to find healing. I have felt it before and it’s amazing. I want to be closer to God and feel that weight lifted off of my shoulders. I don’t want to feel guilt, just love.

  • Prolifedem6M

    Confession is where resistance rears its ugly head for me to the max. My thinking on confession is way out of line with the Church. I know that but still resist it. I’ve wrestled with it for many years.
    I’d like to feel about it as both speakers do. My usual feeling after confession is relief that it’s over and I’m glad that I have some space before I have to do it again. The need for confession somehow tells me that we’re expected to be bad. What do you say when you haven’t?
    When I was a kid, I used to make up sins that I hadn’t committed just to have something to confess. I have talked to several priests about this, and they have helped me some, but I have never gotten over my dread of the sacrament and it takes all the courage I have to psych myself into it.
    That’s why I prefer spiritual direction. When I need to confess, I can devote our hour to that.

  • Barbara

    It’s been approximately 2 yeara since I last went to confession. I keep putting it off. The past 16 months have been rough. My husband died (after a very long illness) as well as my sister, cousin and very close friend, all within 8 months’ time. I am physically and emotionally worn out and lonely. I put on a happy face. I really need to go to confession to refresh and renew. I pray every day and attend Mass regularly. I know what has been missing. Thanks for the nudge.

    • Linda Carmelle

      I send prayers up to heaven for you. God be with you.

  • J Schodron

    I often feel that I am harder on myself than the Priest. I have heard from others that they don’t need to go to confession because God hears them in their daily prayers. I do agree that God hears you in all your prayers, but for me it is more about the need to openly admit to another that I have sinned and let the Priest give me something for thought and my penance. That openness is what makes me feel relieved and forgiven. Just telling God in prayer is not the same for me. Doesn’t he already know what we do?? That is why we need to go to confession to express our true sorrow in what we have done wrong. After confession I walk out feeling refreshed that I have a new start and by studying the verse or Psalm that the Priest gives me I have the opportunity to further reflect that I do not do follow down the wrong path yet again.

  • Babs

    I had not been going to mass because I knew I needed to go to confession. I was hiding (as if I could) from God. I couldn’t take communion without confession and I just kept digging my hole deeper. I finally went on the 30th and WOW, just like Matthew Kelly says, it was like being set free. A new start, clean. It was amazing.

  • Lydia

    I also get really nervous when standing in line for confession. The first time was the worst, I felt like I was going to pass out, or throw up. But I stayed in line after I confessed I felt like I was so light on my feet that I could fly. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go to confession.

  • Frank Bort

    After confession I feel like awe I am home

  • Michael Ennis

    I do not go to confession on a regular basis at all. This is always strange to me right after, because I feel so good when I am done. and I have completed my penance. The last time I went to confession, My spirit was so much lightened, that I found myself in tears while sitting there in a pew afterwards.
    God Bless

  • LJ

    We are all connected and when I sit and say I am a sinner it is because I am very aware of my sin. I think confession is meant to give this awareness of ourselves.
    What I think is lacking is spiritual direction because we are at a point in history where mediocrity is the norm.

  • Princess Dawson

    I wonder why confession is hard to do when the rewards are far more than the act of going? I ask for the grace to continue to move towards excepting this gift and not pull back because I find it difficult or I should have said this or that in confession.

  • AB

    People don’t go to confession because they feel judged. We don’t need a self-righteous high and mighty priest, sitting on a throne, telling us that our “sins” are forgiven. The moment we truly felt sorry in our hearts for what we did, regretted it with all our hearts, and looked to God to guide us, we were absolved of that sin. We don’t need to say 10 Our Father’s in order for God to forgive us, all we need to do is feel sorry and seek his love, talk to him in our hearts and listen to him in spirit. I think the whole problem is with the approach that the Catholic church takes. Instead, if Confession was treated like a Counselling session, where I could talk to a counselor (priest in this case), with no judgement, a 2-way conversation where he truly listens and tries to understand my issues/problems, then provides guidance and reassurance and tips on how I could be a better person and not fall into the same mistake again, now that would be a meaningful and worthwhile session. In reality however, although some priests may be of this caliber, the majority of them simply treat this as a ritual – hear the person’s “sins”, mutter a few prayers, give penance, and that’s that. As long as this is the approach, you can never get people to want to come to “confession”. It’s completely absurd in today’s age.

    • Linda Carmelle

      The sacrament of reconcilliation is a grace from God himself,you need to listen to Matthews’ message again as well. Remember priests are supposed to be representing our Lord at the time of confession,but as a human being they too have faults. Not all priests are the same. You also need to forgive and forget the past negative experience and attempt to go to reconcilliation again. Travel to another parish, try another method,such as face to face also, try confessing to a younger priest,they have fresh perspectives. Better yet try going regularly and attempt all of those methods to see what works best. Explain to the priest the feelings you have about confession,he may surprise you with his responses.

      This is a fundamental Catholic sacrament and reconcilliation does have some protocol to the process,such as the penance at closing. Relearn the basics as we would teach our children in Sunday School,to avoid misinterpretting the so called “self righteousness high and mighty priest,sitting on a throne” thought.

      In life we confess our sins to one another regularly when we do something that offends another,we look for apologies,absolutions,and forgiveness from those we know. Sometimes its impossible for us to obtain it or to give it,we are human and place limits on all things. God is divine and offers unconditional love and forgiveness through his apostles here on earth with us now,the priests.

      From one christian to another christian give reconcilliation another chance,let go of negative thoughts and emotions. Enjoy the grace of the sacrement and offer it up to God,our Father, our Lord ,our Savior,our Redeemer, our Friend.

      Peace Be With You and In You.

  • Kim Bordelon

    Amen spot on with your analogy…Thanks

  • Cindy Leslie

    I love going to confession but always get nervous that the priest is going to yell or be angry with me over my sin or sins, but once I leave the confessional I feel so much better. I think the old devil wants you to feel scard or think God is not going to forgive you. I hate that. But we must persevere! Just dive into that confessional! God wins there.

  • Vivienne

    I resolve to go to confession because:
    I am a sinner and God is merciful.
    God said so; ye whose sins you forgive will be forgiven them…
    Like going to the doctor: you tell him all what is wrong with you to get the right medications so you can be cured.
    The examination of conscience before confession opens me up to what to work on with prayer , to see how God is truely helping me.

  • susan

    I had a terrible experience with confession before my wedding 33 years ago. Told the priest I was getting married the next day and wanted to start my vows with a clear heart and soul. When I walked out of the confessional, the priest opened the door to look to see who I was!! I was appalled. I did return to confession when my children went thru the process, but still don’t go on a regular basis. I have all intentions to go, but get to church and can’t seem to stand in the line to go! Need help to get over this!

    • Vivienne

      Susan,sorry for your experience.
      I just went to confession today and I feel so much at peace; called mum, sister,sister in law to share with them the feeling.l try to go every couple of months but had not gone lately for the past 7 months…I don’t know why.
      I had been preparing for days, saying my rosary to and from work and writing things down.
      I had my note pad with me and sat facing the priest. After I was through ,he gave me absolution and asked me to go sit infront of the blessed sacrament and remind myself of Gods love and mercy….
      Now this opens me up to what I need to work on with Gods grace and I will be aware when the healing comes of Gods grace.this redirects me towards center/Christ .

  • Francesca Rehal

    I totally agree with you on this. Confession is like being cleansed. It is such a great feeling! But, you do have to be vigilant because the devil is always waiting for us to play in his sandbox. I fight him off at every pass!

  • Patty

    Once, the day before a surgery, I went to church for Confession (just in case I didn’t make it out of surgery 🙂 ). It had a school, and there were a lot of school kids there in line, as well as a larger amount than usual of adult parishioners due to Ash Wednesday coming soon. There were two priests, but one left early, and consequently, I was doing an examination of conscience for almost an hour and a half. Due to other pressing needs in preparation for the surgery, and long after the end time for Confessions had passed, I finally left with a bunch of people still in line in front of me (as well as behind me) without having seen the priest. However after 90 minutes of preparing, I was so in tune with God and his amazing love and forgiveness, I felt forgiven, and the anxiety of the upcoming surgery left me. I felt so calm, and relieved. . . released even, all tension was gone. While I realize it was no substitute for Reconciliation with a priest, I felt reconciled with God. I had examined every nook and cranny of my brain, each sin well thought out and an Act of Contrition said for it, I talked to God like I have never had the time to do, well at least not in such a long long time, and while starting out afraid, ended up joyous in the knowledge of God’s love for me. I felt it would be safe for me to go into surgery, and that I would indeed come out of it fine, and could do a real Confession later.

  • Vivienne

    Just went to confession today and I feel truly at peace, ready for Easter !

  • Mary

    I tried going to confession before Christmas this past year, I had not been for many years. Before the confession service began the pastor came up on the altar and announced that if you had not been to confession for a long time you needed to make an appointment to see a priest privately, that scared me to death. One of the reasons I haven’t gone for a along time is I have lost my trust, in priests.I have had difficult experiences with 3 different priests and am only now activity going to church and being involved in our church family. I really struggle with this issue.

    • Ugot2Bkidding

      I have never heard of such an outrageous idea. The people who have been away from confession for a really long time do so for various reasons, but they were there that day because they finally got the courage to seek God’s mercy. Please try again. God wants to hear from you. You had great courage that day.
      You said you are getting involved in a church family. Listen closely to who these church members like and trust among the priests. It doesn’t have to be your parish priest, either. There are good priests everywhere. Melissa in the video said she was scared every time she went to confession and she goes regularly. So you are not alone in this.
      Right now I am afraid and avoid confession because I don’t want the priest, who knows me well, to think less of me because of my sins. So I also struggle. But I also need the grace, I need that “fresh start”. I am thinking of going to a priest who doesn’t know me. Maybe you can try that.
      You say you don’t trust priests. Go to Jesus about this.

    • Linda Carmelle

      When I made my 1st confession as a child we had the privacy of confessionals,I still prefer that method to any other. Fast forward all these years later at 47 I still seek out a parish that has confessionals. We also tend to be visitors of many different parishes since my husband and I have multiple jobs. I like going to confession when the priest doesn’t know me or recognize my voice. I appreciate the different styles of each priest hearing confessions too and receiving confession in older parishes,cathedrals ,traditional settings actually makes me appreciate the value of this sacrement more.Remember a priest may be representing our Lord at the time,but he is human after all,and humans can make poor judgement calls too. You have your heart in the right place, I hope you find the right place to make your confession.Try another church and God Bless You.

  • Linda Carmelle

    This particular topic seemed to strike such a range of emotions with our participants. I wanted to respond to all of the negative ones in particular.,Helping to shed some light,with Gods’ grace and help , on the uncertainty of our sacrament of reconcilliation for some readers. The 1st time around I didn’t have the time to respond as I wanted. I still didn’t have as much time as I wanted,but it seems better to have tried than just leave the questions and thoughts alone.Lord be kind and merciful for some Children of Yours still have much to learn.

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