Go to confession. This guy did!

I post the following email from a reader not so much because this blog helped someone to get back to confession as… well… errrr… because this blog helped someone get back to confession.

Now I post this as an example to others out there, readers or commentators, participants or lurkers.  Do what this guy did and just GO!

Thanks to your repeated urging, I went to confession for the first time in about 6 months and was able to clear my soul of some rather nasty sins that had been weighing me down and inducing me to further sin. Staying this way will be hard, but I couldn’t even have this problem before being absolved, so I guess that’s the price we pay. :)

Thanks again, and please keep up the reminders. It’s important.

If you have been away from confession for a long time, go!  If you are hesitating about going to confession, go!  Priests, hear confessions!  If you sit there they will come.

Go HERE for some tips on how to make a good confession.

Just GO.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. debval says:

    My convert friend describes confession as the box you climb into and then fly out of! It is hard to get in sometimes but I’ve never regretted it once I did.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    “Peace, not as the world gives.” That’s how I always think of it.

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Fr, This is not the case with most, but what if someones only option is to go to confession to an FSSPX priest? [I don’t accept the premise. For 99.99% of people 99.99% of the time, you can find a way to go to a priest who has faculties to hear confessions and therefore who absolves validly. People who get the importance of confession will get this point and would probably crawl as far as they needed to go to make a confession they didn’t have to doubt.]
    [he is in the situation where he physically has no access to diocesan priests, but does to SSPX priests]
    Should he not go at all till he has the yearlly chance to drive to a diocesan priest?
    This is a bit trying on the memory and the soul.

  4. Glen M says:

    Pastors, especially in urban areas, need to make this Sacrament more accessible. Saturday at four pm just isn’t producing results. Why not prior to every Mass for ten minutes? In urban areas pastors should work together to make Confession available all through the week. The local faithful will figure out the schedule. Chairing the parish social justice committee is notable but not at the expense of losing souls. Prioritize, dear pastors.

  5. flyfree432 says:

    Your blog has helped me go to confession and heal from some deep seated wounds as well. The only other place I have heard a call to confession was in college. Outside of that university since I became Catholic in 2005 I have never heard a priest give a call to confession in a homily or outside of a homily with the one exception being a youth conference in Ann Arbor where a young priest put the fear of God into nearly every young boy there and got them in the confession line. And it is not so much you just encouraging me to go to confession, it is your warning that I could go to hell. If I am not wounded then there is no reason to attend to the Sacraments, but I needed to hear that I was wounded, and that my wounds carry consequences if left unattended – the gravest sort of consequences.

  6. benedetta says:

    I also find the encouragement to go to confession helpful.

    Also just wanted to say (meant to when I saw this photo on a previous post) that I really like the young man’s styling aloha shirt in the photo. In fact there is a lot to appreciate about the entire photo.

  7. SonofMonica says:

    I also find it helpful. Seems to always come exactly when I need to hear it. I’m an adult, but I’ve learned I need to be told that I need to go to confession. I need encouragement. I need convincing.

  8. Jbuntin says:

    “If you sit there, they will come” Looks like another Fr. Z mug to me! With the proper art work to go with, it would make a great gift for a priest.

  9. Peggy R says:

    Thank you as well!

    One confession I made this summer was vital in helping my marriage.

  10. There is so much grace in confession that it is possible for one single confession to extirpate even an habitual mortal sin.

  11. mrose says:

    As profound on so many levels as my conversion to the Church has been, the thing I continuously notice the most and that ‘moves’ me the most, the thing that consciously challenges me the most and changes the way I live on a moment-to-moment basis, is Sacramental Confession.

    Fr. Z, thank you for your repeated emphasis and exhortation to regular Confession. My RCIA catechist, and the priests at the parish where I was received into the Church, were lukewarm at best about the importance of Confession, but you have shown me and reminded me of the importance of regular Confession, and it is most good for my soul.

  12. James Joseph says:

    I’ve actually been in the situation where an a regularlized priests wasn’t available for confession. It happens every year around the start of Holy Week.

    Thanks be to God for Sum.Pontificum because since it’s implementation I am noticing that the priests who use the 1962 Missal, even if the Ex.Form is offered only at 2:37AM on the fifth Wednesday after the ninth Equinox in the Third Age after the Seal of Gargon has been broken, tend to avoid the no confession during Holy Week thing.

  13. APX says:

    The popularity of Confession at my parish is very encouraging. There’s always a line up and the priest seems to always make himself available to hear confessions, despite being busy with other things going on at the parish. I don’t know how he does it!

  14. Re: no access for a year

    Assuming he’s not living on an atoll in the South Pacific visited only once a year by boat, or something like that (and hey, I understand that can happen), it might be an idea for the person (or you, if he’s your friend) to get in touch with the local archdiocese (or the various nearest archdioceses) and see if there’s anybody they can send over to your friend’s place. For all we know, there might be a retired priest somewhere nearby, or a priest who goes somewhere close to visit his grandma or his best friend. If you keep asking around (and talk to the Big Guy Up There and all your heavenly friends), something will probably turn up.

  15. Oh, and don’t forget that there are other resources than the territorial archdiocese/s. The various Eastern Catholic eparchies and such, religious orders, the military archdiocese, the travelers/sailors Catholic group, etc., etc….

  16. I have a bad story about not being able to go to confession, and then a good one.

    A few months ago, my wife went to a Saturday evening mass in another parish. She showed up fifteen minutes early and was unable to find a priest for confession. She asked around and was told the priest should arrive shortly, but he ended up arriving just in time for the mass. A few days later, as we were discussing this unfortunate occurrence, she explained to me that most church-going Catholics don’t go to confession at all (at least in our province). There’s no reason to be surprised that there are no priests available, since there is no demand for their services.

    Now, this is how things work at the FSSP, where we are accustomed to worship. Two Sundays ago, I arrived 30 minutes early in order to go to confession before mass. There were about a dozen people ahead of me in the lineup, but it was moving along pretty fast. Unfortunately, the priest stepped out of the box just when I was next in line, and there was still another guy behind me. I didn’t have any mortal sins to confess, but if I had I believe I could still have received the Eucharist owing to perfect contrition and the intention to confess as soon as possible (is that correct?). Last Sunday, the same thing happened to another fellow. The priest stepped out just as this guy was stepping in. He was visibly irritated, but I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful it is not to be able to go to confession in this context.

  17. Miriam says:

    As a person who has scrupulous tendencies, I am careful about confession. Because otherwise I can think I am on the road to hell and I have no way back. This is not a good thing. I think it can lead to despair and then the next thing you know you have no hope of Heaven.

    But I know it is time when my buttons are pushed. Got to get my butt to the priest. I love absolution.

  18. RichR says:

    Perfect contrition, while returning someone to a state of grace, does not allow one to approach to receive Holy Comminion. Sacramental absolution is required.

    BTW, I never tire of the Confession photo FrZ uses. It unites the goodness of the Sacrament with a time in our nation’s history when life was relatively………normal.

  19. @RichR: Thanks for the precision.

  20. Paul says:

    Glen M said, “Pastors, especially in urban areas, need to make this Sacrament more accessible. Saturday at four pm just isn’t producing results.”

    This is so true! If you ran a store and had a product that was seldom or never advertised, was kept hidden on the very back shelf, and was only available twice a week for two 30 minute times, would you be surprised it wasn’t very popular?

  21. JonPatrick says:

    The Saturday afternoon confession time worked in the old days when people lived in city neighborhoods around the church and they could walk over to the church for their confession. Now if you live say 20 min from the church and have to drive in, then you have to make a special trip, unless you are going to the Saturday night mass.

    Fortunately the church where we go for Mass has confession for 30 minutes before each of the 2 Sunday Masses, as well as time on Saturday afternoon (it is EF only so there is no Saturday PM mass), plus 30 minutes before the daily 7:30 AM Mass.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    Your Confession commentaries are great! My current parish has Confession only once a week after 9:30 a.m. Saturday Mass. Needless to say, I have only seen two people there to date, one being myself.

  23. irishgirl says:

    I still find it very hard to go to confession. I end up being a bundle of nerves before going in, and by the time I come out, my back is all sweaty.
    I’m always afraid to take up a lot of the priest’s time, especially when there’s a line of people outside the confessional. I get annoyed when someone ‘hogs’ the confessional, and so I don’t want to annoy my fellow penitents by doing the same!
    At the TLM chapel I go to, the priest comes from out of town, and usually he only hears confessions prior to Mass. Once in awhile he will stay after to confess anyone who couldn’t go before Mass.
    If anyone suggests ‘call and make an appointment for confession’, that won’t do. The seminary where these priests live don’t have a phone number that is available to the public (probably unlisted), and it’s a two-hour drive from here. Wouldn’t chance it in the winter.

  24. irishgirl says:

    ‘don’t have a phone number’:should have said, ‘doesn’t have a phone number’
    Another example of ‘brain getting ahead of fingers’.

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