Deaconette C’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession

Deaconette C’s 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession :¬)

Revised from a less helpful list elsewhere.

We should…

1) …choose a confessor who speaks the same language as we do, not including Latin;
2) …be acquainted generally with the relative fitness of the confessor for the role. Faculties for the sacrament are alone not evidence of a suitable confessor. It is ok to shop for a healthy experience;
3) …investigate ahead of time, perhaps through our own observations, or
4) …by asking our spiritual advisors or knowledgeable friends for a referral;
4) …be unafraid to travel a distance if local options are unacceptable;
5) …not get hung up on whether the rite is called Reconciliation, Confession, or Penance;
6) …not get hung up on whether the venue is a confessional box or a reconciliation room or a quiet bench in the parish garden;
7) …use ordinary due caution about being alone in a new place with a man we do not know;
8) …examine our conscience in advance, but do not be obsessive about number and kind;
9) …try to relax and encounter Christ in His sacrament and in His loving mercy;
10) …ask our confessor for help in making a good confession, if we need it;
11) … begin with the sins that trouble us the most, and do not worry about a ‘correct’ order;
12) …be as thorough as we can, while remembering sincerity and contrition is more important than verbosity;
13) …answer questions from our confessor, and accept his help;
14) …listen to his advice and suggestions for confronting the occasion of sin;
15) …remember that confessing to a priest is not a substitute for mental health therapy with a licensed professional, and to seek that as well when it is needed;
16) …make your Act of Contrition. If you cannot remember one, ask your confessor for help;
17) …do not take notes nor a recording device to confession with a view to a further report on the experience to ecclesiastic authority, nor worry over the grammar of Father’s words of absolution;
18) …Take no crap. Our confessors should not call us names nor yell or otherwise abuse us. What you may have done may be shocking, but now you are getting help and healing and for that heaven rejoices;
19) …do our assigned penance as soon as possible, remembering that it may not include personal or sexual favors for our confessor;
20) …and if anything seems wrong at any time, leave. God doesn’t require us to do something so intimate and mature as confession with someone emotionally or mentally immature, but sadly there are many immature priests. Try again with another priest soon.

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