Confession! What a Relief!

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My bride and I just went to Confession, and once again I pitied the poor priest who had to hear my lawyer’s confession!  I have never been to Confession without feeling a great sense of relief.

 

Here is the formula that I have followed for Confessions since childhood:

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____________ since my last Confession and these are my sins.

 

I then recite my sins.  I follow the rule of three B’s in Confession:

Be Blunt

Be Brief

Be Gone

I say my sins, with no attempts to minimize or justify, no matter how it shames me to do so, and sometimes I do feel great shame, which I suspect is a good sign.  I end my recital with the statement that these are all the sins I can recall but that I am truly sorry for those I cannot recall.

After the priest absolves me, and what a wonderful word absolve truly is, I say an Act of Contrition:

O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the Pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love.  And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

If any of you who read this have been away from Confession, please go before Christmas.  Welcome Christ this year with a clean slate.

 

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4 Comments

  1. The average person’s attempt to recall their many offences against God’s commandments for any given time as they prepare to enter the confessional surely falls short of being a complete summary. That is why it is good to add at the end of our error report, “for these and any other times I have failed to be faithful to God’s love I am sorry and ask forgiveness”.
    If there is ever a time to be very personal with our Father God it is in the confessional. Our relationship with the Almighty, with the exception of the Eucharist, has no closer personal connection than this. A married couple to have a successful and happy union must share completely the intimate details of their lives with each other. How much more so should we be willing to “tell all” to one who is to judge and determine our eternal fate? It is for his sake that we be honest with him since he already knows every detail and desires hearts that are truly open to his mercy and love. We may think we are only talking to the priest when participating in the sacrament of penance but we are really talking to our Father and he answers through the duty of the confessor.
    Holy Mother Church understands this and provides some cover for us at Mass.
    It is important to note that the words of contrition which we recite at mass are very significantly complete as to encompass any and all manner of sin one might bring before God to seek forgiveness. What else is there beyond those “….in my thoughts and in my words¸ in what I have done and what I have failed to do.” This would include all sins which were both thoughtfully or thoughtlessly committed and acts which were both thoughtfully and thoughtlessly committed as well as those imagined only and those willingly carried out. But the confessional is the place to be open hearted without fear and this is for our sake if we are to be honest with ourselves as well.

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