Going to Confession
(Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Perhaps you haven't gone to confession in a few months...
or since your Confirmation retreat,
but don't worry,
the Sacrament of Reconciliation is still there for you!
On March 28, 2014, Pope Francis stated:
“God waits and also God forgives,” the Pope said.
“He is the God of mercy: he does not tire of forgiving us.
It is we who are tired of asking for forgiveness,
but He never gets tired. Seventy times seven;
go forward with forgiveness."
He repeats this message often,
and included a similar quote in Evangelii Gaudium.
Because we need to be reminded that God forgives....
and forgives and forgives
as we work on building a stronger relationship with Him
and with those around us.
Here are a few reminders for you (in case you are nervous)....
take a deep breath,
then go and be forgiven!
There is nothing like the joy of absolution!
Perhaps watching this quick video
with an overview on RECONCILIATION
by BustedHalo.com/Paulist Young Adult Ministry
may help as well:
The Steps of the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
1. The priest greets us, and you might wish to begin with "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been (length of time) since my last Confession.
2. Pray the Sign of the Cross.
He may read God's Word with us.
3. We confess our sins.
End by saying " I am sorry for these and all my sins."
The priest may help and counsel us.
4. The priest gives us a penance to perform.
Penance is an act of charity, a work of mercy or prayers to pray, or a combination.
5. The priest asks us to express our sorrow, usually by reciting the Act of Contrition.
6. We receive absolution.
The priest says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We respond, “Amen.”
7. The priest dismisses us by saying, “Go in peace.”
An Act of Contrition to Pray
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)
An Examination of Conscience
An examination of conscience is the act of looking prayerfully into our hearts
to ask how we have hurt our relationships with God
and other people through
Here, we reflect on the The Ten Commandments and the teachings of the Church. The questions below help us in our examination of conscience.
My Relationship With God
What steps am I taking to help me grow closer to God and to others? Do I turn to God often during the day, especially when I am tempted?
Do I participate at Mass with attention and devotion on Sundays and holy days? Do I pray often and read the Bible?
Do I use God's name and the names of Jesus, Mary, and the saints with love and reverence?
My Relationships With Family, Friends, and Neighbors
Have I set a bad example through my words or actions? Do I treat others fairly? Do I spread stories that hurt other people?
Am I loving of those in my family? Am I respectful of my neighbors, my friends, and those in authority?
Do I show respect for my body and for the bodies of others? Do I keep away from forms of entertainment that do not respect God's gift of sexuality?
Have I taken or damaged anything that did not belong to me? Have I cheated, copied homework, or lied?
Do I quarrel with others just so I can get my own way? Do I insult others to try to make them think they are less than I am? Do I hold grudges and try to hurt people who I think have hurt me?
(Source: Loyola Press)
The U.S. Bishop Offer a number of Examinations of Conscience as well,
such as this one:
Examination of Conscience in Light of Catholic Social Teaching
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
- Do I respect the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death?
- Do I recognize the face of Christ reflected in all others around me whatever their race, class, age, or abilities?
- Do I work to protect the dignity of others when it is being threatened?
- Am I committed to both protecting human life and to ensuring that every human being is able to live in dignity?
- Do I try to make positive contributions in my family and in my community?
- Are my beliefs, attitudes, and choices such that they strengthen or undermine the institution of the family?
- Am I aware of problems facing my local community and involved in efforts to find solutions? Do I stay informed and make my voice heard when needed?
- Do I support the efforts of poor persons to work for change in their neighborhoods and communities? Do my attitudes and interactions empower or disempower others?
- Do I recognize and respect the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of others?
- Do I live in material comfort and excess while remaining insensitive to the needs of others whose rights are unfulfilled?
- Do I take seriously my responsibility to ensure that the rights of persons in need are realized?
- Do I urge those in power to implement programs and policies that give priority to the human dignity and rights of all, especially the vulnerable?
- Do I give special attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in my community and in the world?
- Am I disproportionately concerned for my own good at the expense of others?
- Do I engage in service and advocacy work that protects the dignity of poor and vulnerable persons?
- As a worker, do I give my employer a fair day’s work for my wages? As an owner, do I treat workers fairly?
- Do I treat all workers with whom I interact with respect, no matter their position or class?
- Do I support the rights of all workers to adequate wages, health insurance, vacation and sick leave? Do I affirm their right to form or join unions or worker associations?
- Do my purchasing choices take into account the hands involved in the production of what I buy? When possible, do I buy products produced by workers whose rights and dignity were respected?
- Does the way I spend my time reflect a genuine concern for others?
- Is solidarity incorporated into my prayer and spirituality? Do I lift up vulnerable people throughout the world in my prayer, or is it reserved for only my personal concerns?
- Am I attentive only to my local neighbors or also those across the globe?
- Do I see all members of the human family as my brothers and sisters?
- Do I live out my responsibility to care for God’s creation?
- Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for poor persons, who are most at risk from environmental problems?
- Do I litter? Live wastefully? Use energy too freely? Are there ways I could reduce consumption in my life?
- Are there ways I could change my daily practices and those of my family, school, workplace, or community to better conserve the earth’s resources for future generations?