How To Make A Good Confession?
How to make a good confession? First and foremost, spend some time in prayer, ideally in front of the Blessed Sacrament, in order to be better safeguarded from the traps and deceptions of the deceiver, who is the adversary. In your prayers, ask God to reveal the source of your sins, rather than merely the visible manifestations of them.
Pray for God to shine light on your motives, your desire to sin, and the reasons you make the decisions that lead you to commit a crime. It is one thing to beg God to reveal your sins to you; it is quite another to dig deep into the roots of your sins and eliminate the roots rather than the weeds that are growing there.
- Fundamental Truths
- Steps To Be Taken Before Going to Confession
- Prayer Before making the Examination of Conscience
- Biblical Passages to Be Read
- Grid for the Examination of Conscience
- Questions Based on The Ten Commandments
- Immediately Before Confession
- During Confession
- After Confession
Confession in the sacrament of reconciliation is not a formality. A watershed moment in the lengthy process of our moral conversion has arrived. It is the key to achieving mental and physical well-being. However, in order to reap these benefits, we must first be clear about some fundamental facts and then apply those truths to our individual circumstances.
- God adores us and want for us to be happy for the rest of our lives.
- We can only experience this eternal bliss if we utilize our freedom to live our lives in accordance with His will.
- Any unwillingness to act in accordance with God's will constitutes a SIN, the intensity of which is determined by the following factors: the action we do or fail to take, our level of awareness, our intention, and degree of freedom, as well as the circumstances.
- When we refuse to respond to God's love, we are committing acts of ingratitude, pride, and rebellion against Him; this is what sin is.
- In every instance of sin, we turn our backs on God, devoting to ourselves or other creatures the attention and affection that should be dedicated solely to Him.
- We inflict harm to ourselves and to others when we do so because we are upsetting the order created by the Creator.
- God is always ready to forgive us because of His infinite love for us. He literally never stops calling us back to Him and to correct behavior, which is a good thing.
- If we wish to benefit from God's forgiveness, we must react to His call to: cease sinning, flee sinful surroundings, and return to Him with a contrite heart, among other things.
- According to Jesus' intent when he granted the Apostles the authority to forgive sins, we must likewise seek His forgiveness via the ministry of the Church (see Jn 20:22f).
- Upon receiving the forgiveness of our sins via the sacrament of Penance, we are brought to a real spiritual resurrection: we are raised to a new life of grace. We are reconciled with God, with the Church, with our neighbor, and with ourselves via the sacrament of reconciliation.
The most essential thing is not only to "go to confession," but rather to "make a proper confession," according to the Bible.
- Approaching this sacrament with a real sense of regret for our sins.
- Confessing them with full humility and honesty.
- Being prepared to make apologies for them.
- Being resolved to avoid committing sin in the future.
- Living according to God's will.
One of the most important steps in doing all of this is to conduct an in-depth investigation of one's conscience. Included in this category are the following:
- Becoming conscious of the seriousness and number of one's sins, whether they consist in something wrong that we have done or in something good that we should have done but did not (sins of omission
- Realizing that, by our sins, we have offended God, have renewed the cause of Jesus Christ's suffering and death, and have caused harm to our neighbor and ourselves.
A competent investigation of conscience is aided greatly by the following tools:
- We will pray to the Holy Spirit for illumination and sincerity
- Read a relevant Scripture passage that will help us rediscover the gravity of our sinfulness, the extent of God's love for us, and his willingness to forgive us
- Go over a series of questions concerning our duties to God, our neighbors, and ourselves.
Preparation for the examination of consciences should include selecting and reading only one of the following:
Is 1:16-18; Jer 3:12b-14a; Ez18:23.30b-32; Sir 28:2-7 New Testament Mt 5:17-19; Mt 5:20-24. 27-48; Mt 7:1-5; Mt 25:31-46; Lk 15:1-7; Lk 15:11-32; Lk 19:1-10; Jn 20:19-23; 1Cor 13:1-7; Eph 4:17-20.25-32.5:1-7; Eph 5:1-7; Eph 5:8-15.19.20-21; Phil 4:8-9; Col 3:1-10; Col3:12-17; Col 3:18-21; Rev 3:20
Reflect prayerfully on the Word of God you have just read.
There are a variety of approaches that may be used to conduct a thorough investigation of conscience.
One of the most prevalent is to examine our lives in the light of the Ten Commandments and determine if, how frequently, and how severely we have failed to observe and obey them.
Another method consists in thinking on the fundamental Christian qualities (for example, faith, hope, love of God and neighbor, patience, purity, and honesty, among others), and determining whether or not we have demonstrated them in our lives.
There are a variety of additional methods for conducting a thorough examination of conscience, but the most important is to imagine ourselves in the presence of Almighty God and ask ourselves, in complete honesty, if He is happy with us, and if not, why not.
Preliminary Questions and Answers
- When was the last time I confessed to something? Was that a "good confession" on his part?
- Is it true that I made any unique promises to the Lord on that particular occasion? Is it true that I followed through on my promise?
- Is it possible that I have committed a grave or fatal sin since my last confession?
1. You are not permitted to worship any false gods before me.
- Is God the most significant fact in my life? Do I believe in God?
- Is it true that I have some reservations about my Catholic faith?
- Is it true that I read books or watched shows/movies that were in opposition to my Catholic beliefs?
- Is it possible that I'm superstitious? What do I think about fortune telling, astrology, palm reading, and witchcraft? Do I believe in them?
- Have I placed my confidence in the Lord at all times, especially in the midst of adversity and difficulty?
- Is there a "little god" in my life, such as money, pleasures, success, popularity, or power, that I should be aware of?
2. Take not the name of the Lord your God in vain; you must not use it in jest.
- Is it possible that I referred to God in a disrespectful manner?
- Is it possible that I cursed?
- Is it true that I followed through on the commitments I made to God?
- Is it possible that I insulted Jesus, Mary, and the other Saints in some way?
3. Remember to observe the Lord's Day as a sacred day.
- Is it true that I attended Sunday Mass with zeal and punctuality on the first Sunday of the month?
- Did I pray on a consistent basis every day, at the very least in the morning and evening?
- Is it true that I read a piece from Sacred Scripture every single day?
- How interested am I in getting a deeper understanding of my faith and in assisting others (including my friends, coworkers, classmates, and relatives) in doing so?
4. Respect your parents, especially your father and mother (for children).
- Is it possible that I failed to express affection to my parents and other relatives?
- Is it possible that I was disrespectful or disobedient to them?
- Did I assist them when I was able to?
- Is it possible that I disappointed them? How?
- Is it true that I respected my instructors, my parish priest, and other people in positions of authority?
- Is it true that I followed the regulations of my school?
5. (For parents) Did I raise my children with selflessness, compassion, and genuine care for their well-being?
- Was it possible that I was being too strict or too gentle with them?
- Is it possible that I set a terrible example by the way I spoke and acted?
- Is it possible that I failed to set a good example for them?
- Has it been my responsibility to ensure that my children receive adequate religious education and are actively involved in our Christian community and organizations?
- Is it possible that I inspired them to live a devoted life in the church and in society?
6. You are not permitted to kill.
- Is it possible that my words or actions caused someone pain?
- Is it true that I turned down opportunities to assist those in need when I had the chance and the means?
- Is it possible that I share false information about others?
- Is it possible that I used poor examples?
- Is it true that I tried my hardest to make amends?
- Is it true that I harbored grudges?
- Did I express my regrets in a timely and honest manner?
- Is it possible that my words or actions played a role in causing others to commit sin?
- Was it my intention to be respectful of other people's ideas and opinions?
- Is it true that I took anyone's life?
- Is it possible that I caused bodily harm or moral harm to others?
- Is it true that I tried my hardest to make amends?
- Is it true that I joined a violent organization?
- Is it true that I approved or consented to, recommended, sought, or actively participated in an abortion?
- Is it possible that I contributed to environmental pollution?
- How well have I taken care of my physical and emotional well-being?
- Is it true that I smoked, drank excessively, used hazardous medications, or did anything else that was damaging to my health or the health of others?
7. You are not permitted to engage in unclean behavior, and you are not permitted to want your neighbor's wife. (It is intended for everyone.)
- Are there any immodest photographs, programs, videos, or other publications that I have seen or read that have awaken sexual thoughts in me and may cause me to commit a sin against chastity?
- Is it possible that I had immodest ideas or gave my agreement to unclean desires?
- Is it possible that I have committed any unclean acts by myself or with others?
- Was I cautious and guarded in my dealings with persons of the opposite sex, whether they were married at the time or not?
- Is it possible that I engaged in talks or jokes that may have led to the commission of offenses against purity by myself or others?
- Is it possible that I had premarital sex?
(Intended for married couples)
-Was I true to my wife/husband in my thoughts and actions, as well as in my words?
- Is it true that I used pills or other artificial techniques to prevent becoming pregnant?
- Is it possible that I influenced others to do so?
- Was my marriage a means of expressing my unselfish love for my wife/husband, or was it only a means of satisfying my sexual desires?
8. You shall not steal from your neighbor
9. Nor shall you covet his or her possessions.
- Is it true that I was considerate of other people's property?
- Is it possible that I caused harm to public property?
- Is there anything I've stolen?
- Did you return the items I had stolen, or did you provide fair compensation?
- Is it possible that I cheated at school or at work?
- Was my labor honest, and did I carry out my responsibilities to the best of my ability?
- Was it reasonable of me to pay my employees, my taxes, and other obligations?
- Was it possible that I was envious of other people's financial wealth or success?
- Is it possible that I squandered time and opportunities?
- Was I a glutton for punishment?
- Is it possible that I was selfish in my usage of natural resources?
10. You are not permitted to give false testimony against your neighbor.
- Is it possible that I lied in order to protect my honor or to bring harm to others?
- Is it possible that I lied as a witness in court?
- Is it possible that I divulged information that had been entrusted in me?
- Is it possible that I revealed the secrets of others' flaws?
- Is it possible that I made a false accusation?
- Is it possible that I made snap judgments about others?
- Is it possible that I am a prejudiced person?
- Is it possible for me to strike a balance between truth and charity?
- In a humble and honest manner, beg the Lord's forgiveness and the grace you will need to avoid sin in the future.
- Determine the underlying reasons for your faults, such as improper tendencies, personal flaws, harmful habits, and so on.
- Consider what you can do to eliminate at least one of these "root causes" by taking the time to do so. This translates to: resolution to put out substantial effort toward becoming a better person by either eliminating one major moral fault or increasing one positive moral attribute (virtue);
Invoke the Lord's blessing on your ability to make a true and complete confession.
Make the sign of the cross and recite the following words:
Father, please forgive me since I have sinned.
Allow the priest to bless you and to add any exhortations that he may be prompted to deliver at this time. After you have listened prayerfully and with an open heart, say:
My most recent honest confession occurred...a long time ago. As a result of my actions, I have incurred the following sins:
Commence with the most difficult or unpleasant sins and work your way up to less difficult or embarrassing ones.
If you are frightened or unsure about any of your sins, you should seek the assistance of the priest.
Keep in mind that it is vital to indicate the number of grave sins committed, as well as the conditions that contribute to their seriousness.
When you've completed confessing all of the sins that come to mind, say something like:
O my God, I am heartily sorry
for having offended you.
I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because they offend you,
my God, who are all good
and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace,
to sin no more, to do penance,
and to amend my life. Amen.
All of my transgressions from my previous lives, particularly those against women, are responsible for these sins (mention the most important virtues, like charity, honesty, purity, etc.) Father, I come to you seeking forgiveness and repentance.
The confessor will provide you with some valuable guidance. A suitable penance will also be assigned to you by the priest, to be carried out following the sacrament of confession. Recite an Act of Contrition in response to his call.
Alternatively, you can say the Act of Contrition in your own words or by saying the following or a comparable one:
Kneel down in front of the altar or a representation of Our Lord and express gratitude to him for the gift of this confessional opportunity. Reaffirm your resolve and beg for His assistance in overcoming future temptations. Together with St. Dominic Savio, say or recite the prayer/commitment encapsulated in the motto: Death rather than sin.
Please say your prayers silently and devoutly if your confessor has assigned you a penance that includes certain prayers to be uttered.
Gratitude is shown via the grin at Jesus. Rise up with gladness and assurance, knowing that the Lord has been compassionate to you. Live for Him every minute of every day of your life, and let everyone know what a joy it is to be a Christian servant.
For the whole text of this leaflet, which includes the Biblical Readings, please see the accompanying pamphlet:
"CONFESSION IS THE KEY TO SPIRITUAL HEALING, GROWTH, AND FREEDOM," says the bestselling author.
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