From a reader following on recent entries about confession:
Dear Fr. Z,
I try to go to confession often – biweekly if not weekly. I, like another commenter on your post, usually confess tendencies along with sins. Is confession an appropriate time to seek direction (with due respect to time), or should that be done at another time? Thank you!
First, it is a wonderful thing to hear that you have a routine of regular confession. Given the effects of the sacrament, and our great need, it is amazing that priests have let this sacrament fall into desuetude in some many places.
I think people should try to get their minds around the idea that "tendency" has different meanings. Sometimes people use the word loosely, to describe what they actually do in a habitual manner. Sometimes people use it to describe an interior inclination, a habitual impulse.
In the first case, there is an action involved. In the second, there may be a mere urge, which the person successfully fights of, a thought he corrects and does not give consent of will to, much less act upon.
In that case, a tendency isn’t a sin.
Confession should mainly be for confession of sins.
The second part of the question gets at a practical issue: time.
Sometimes people need a little more time to get out what they need to get out. In that case, perhaps they should be the last in line or make an appointment. There are other people in line, after all, and if you need, say, a half hour, be considerate of the needs of others.
This is often the case of people who are seeking "spiritual direction", or lots of advice or conversation with the priest about particular problems. Remember: confession isn’t time for chat. It has a purpose.
If you are looking for a more extensive conversation with the priest, and you don’t think that you can do this in a reasonable amount of time when confessions are scheduled because there is always a line, then try to get an appointment. If there is no line, or there are also other confessors available, then perhaps you can avail yourself of the moment, with due consideration for the purpose of a sacramental confession.