FEEDBACK: “I went to confession for the first time in nine years tonight.”

I suspect that most of you readers know that I often shout at you: GO TO CONFESSION! I did so yesterday, several times. This morning I received this.

From a reader:

I wanted to thank you for always pushing confession. I went to confession for the first time in nine years tonight. It was my son’s first confession night, and I wanted to both set a good example for him and cleanse my soul. I used your steps for making a good confession, which really helped. Afterwards it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I do not plan on waiting nine years – or even nine months – before I return to confession.

My confessor tonight was patient and kind. He listened, gave me some brief but useful advice and encouragement, and then absolved me using the proper form. Nothing too lovey-dovey, nothing too harsh, nothing to hokey-pokey – just respectful and proper responses. The priest almost seemed to admire me for my strength for confessing my sins.

To your priest readers, I encourage them to please be like this confessor. Be strong, be respectful, and encourage those who confess. Say the Black, Do the Red. Nothing more, nothing less.

Thanks for all that you and all the good priests do. Many prayers!

If this blog ever served any purpose, THAT, dear friends, is it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Father Z,
    Because of you, I went to Confession last year after I came back to the Church and it had been 40 years since my previous Confession. I have been going regularly (every 2 to 3 weeks) since then, with greater gaps only when I am far away from a Catholic Church. I make it a point to do an examination of conscience every night and I pray the Confiteor. Going to Confession regularly makes me very mindful, much more effective than mindfulness meditation.

  2. MissBee says:

    Happy for you, gentle writer! I remember this same feeling ten years ago, it’s all an upward trajectory from here :) God bless you!

  3. LeeGilbert says:

    “I wanted to both set a good example for him and cleanse my soul.”

    If you were to continue to set a good example for him and take him to Confession every week, or every two weeks, or every month, he will still be going to confession and taking his own children every week, or every two weeks or every month thirty years from now. “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

    Reminds me. A wonderful priest in Chicago spoke of a family he knew- and I think it was his own family when he was growing up- where the mother finding her children quarrelsome and full of petty animosities asked them when they were last to Confession. Among many other blessings, what a wonderful source of family harmony is the sacrament of Confession.

    When he was grown, I asked my own son what he thought was the most helpful spiritual practice. The answer came quickly back, “Confession, confession, confession!” An answer to die for, is it not?

  4. jjbulano says:

    What a wonderful experience to have in the confessional. God Bless all of the excellent, conscientious Priests who take this sacrament seriously, and show that it is not something to be afraid of or embarrassed to do. I went for a year once without going to confession. My confessor told me since it had been a while, why don’t we go through the 10 commandments to help me remember my indiscretions. It was terrific. He went into detail about each one, and how it applies to daily life. It helped set me up for better confessions going forward.

  5. Gabriel Syme says:

    A great story, which is a powerful vindication of this blog, in addition to being such a happy tale.

    Confession is the best thing in the world, imo, and I would urge everyone to go as often as possible.

  6. rbbadger says:

    Speaking as a priest, helping to bring someone back to the sacraments is one of the greatest joys in my life. I actually do love hearing the confessions and absolving those who have been away for a long time. I am sure many priests feel the same way. (Or at least they should!)

  7. Sseprn says:

    I am glad to be reading this piece and associated comments this morning, just one week after my last visit to the confessional ( a real confessional in the back of the Nave). Nothing clears my mind like a good cleaning of soul; I am still basking in the grace from my confession last Saturday. The Grace I receive always steels me to better manage the challenges of living life and trying , with humility, to live as Christ asked us to. God Bless you Father and keep prescribing Confession, Confession, Confession, to a sick world.

  8. Philomena Mary says:

    Father, you were one of the primary reasons for my conversion to the faith all the way back in 2006 and if there’s one thing I have taken from your blog since then it’s the importance of Confession. I try to go every week and even made sure to go on the day before my very long flight back home from the USA – I couldn’t shake the thought that I didn’t want to risk my eternal soul if something happened on the flight before I managed to confess my sins. So thank you, and God bless you.

    [Thank you very much for that!]

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