Going to Confession when it’s Been a While

Going to Confession when it’s Been a While

So it’s been a while… maybe you’ve fallen away from the Church and are finding your way back, or you’ve been putting it off because of guilt or the idea that your sins are “unforgivable”. The truth is that God is always ready to receive you back into a relationship with him in the sacrament of reconciliation! It is easy to associate this sacrament with guilt – but did you know that it is actually a sacrament of healing? God is patiently waiting for you to allow him to heal you from the burden of the mistakes you’ve made.

“Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.

Luke 15: 22-24

Check out these three tips for returning to confession if it’s been a while.

1. Come Prepared

Whether it’s been a while or not, preparing for confession is essential. You’ll definitely want to complete an examination of conscience – which is a series of questions that will help you determine the areas in your life in which you’ve fallen short. Here’s a link to one that we like to use. You may even want to write some things down! There’s nothing wrong with that.

2. Ask the Priest for help

The priest is there to help – so don’t be afraid to ask for some guidance. You can even tell the priest before beginning that it has been a while and he will certainly help you through the process. Remember that when a priest is in the confessional, he is acting in persona Christi – which means he represents Jesus, so you don’t have to worry about begin judged or condemned. You are also more than welcome to contact us beforehand and talk to a priest about preparing to receive this sacrament.

3. Receive the Grace!

As we mentioned earlier, this is a sacrament of healing – not guilt! So receive that healing! Don’t get too caught up in the words and formality of confession. Try your best to confess all your sins with humble heart, but if you honestly forget one (after doing an examination of conscience) God will forgive you for the sins you have missed. Also, try to make confession a regular part of your life! The Church requires Catholics to receive this sacrament at least once a year, but going more frequently is highly recommended.