On Confession

Question:

Recently, after more than 30 years away from the church of my childhood, I have made two botched attempts at trying to go to confession. The first time, I couldn't even get started. The second time, about three weeks ago, I did manage to confess some things, but could not bring myself to speak about others (some past, some present). The priest gave me absolution, but I feel worse about it now than I did before I started and have begun to despair of the whole process. I'm not sure what my question is--I think what I am looking for is advice if you have any to offer.

Answer:

First off, it's not easy going to confession after being away for 30 years. I'd suggest you call the priest and set up a special time to go to confession. In the past I have told people that wanted to go to confession (at an unpublished time) that I'd be in the church from such a time to such a time (say between 2 and 3) and that they could stop by anytime between then. I'd take a good book over, and get there before the time mentioned, so that the person would not have to worry about me seeing them. And then I'd wait, and I suspect a lot of other priest are willing to do the same.

You may want to tell the priest when you call that it's been a while since you went to confession, and that you might need a little help and some time to make a good confession. Then once you get there, take your time. If you need help in various areas, ask for it. don't feel that you have to rush, and don't feel bad if it takes a little time. After all, good things are not meant to be rushed, and going to confession is certainly a good thing.

God bless,
Fr. Ray