Many people like their Catholic faith some even absolutely love being Catholic. But even the most ardent and devout follower of the Catholic religion may be absolutely terrified of going to confession.
There are many people who although extremely involved extremely loving extremely caring and extremely good people all around and in almost every way who are absolutely and utterly petrified of even the thought of going to confession.
They believe that their sins are so great so substantial so shocking that they will absolutely and completely embarrass themselves if they enter into the so-called Catholic Penalty Box. But what in fact is the truth? Let me explain some of my own experiences with confession and maybe just maybe this will ease your fear.
A few years ago I strongly returned back to the sacrament of confession and I must admit that the first two or three times were scary but the very first time I was going back after quite some time was extremely horrifying. I was sweating, my heart was racing I was nervous my mouth was dry all of these things are happening all at the same time.
I waited in line for maybe 15 or 20 minutes while others ahead of me told their confessions to the priest. But this short amount of time seemed like many hours as I was completely and utterly terrified of what would happen once I entered that room. Mentally I was preparing, I wanted to make a good confession I wanted to make sure that I told the priest everything and that I wouldn't botch it.
Finally it was my turn to enter that room it felt like I was entering into a dungeon of Horrors I went in and chose to kneel behind the privacy divider. Even people who have never been to a Catholic Church know what I'm talking about because this is always portrayed in movies and television shows. First thing I said when I walked in was bless me Father for I have sinned. The priest immediately said a prayer and asked me to confess. Again I was very nervous very scared unsure of what to do. But in a very contrite and sorrowful way I confessed my sins I told the priest everything.
I felt a heavy burden lift from me as I finished saying everything that I had to say. The priest then thanked me, he thanked me for a very contrite and sincere confession. He could tell from my voice and demeanor that I was sincere and honest. And he said God appreciates this. Then the priest offered some of his advice. Advise that really spoke to me and helped me greatly. He gave me directions but there was absolutely not a single trace of judgement, at no point did I feel that he was upset, angry or judgmental about me. I just listened to his words of encouragement and help. Then in a feeling that cannot be replicated in the natural world he spoke the words of absolution saying through the power of God he absolves me of all my sins. As the priest makes clear he is not acting on his own power but in the power of Jesus Christ who works through the priest. The physical verbal words that the priest is using are so extraordinarily powerful. I believe this is the primary reason why we confess to a priest it is the most powerful experience one can have on this Earth.
After this the priest asked me to make an act of contrition. This is something else that terrifies and scares people because they wonder what will happen if they make a mistake or say something wrong. You have absolutely nothing whatsoever to worry about here. The reason is that an act of contrition is an act of The heart. It's basically simply telling God that you are truly sorry for your sins and that you will do absolutely everything in your power with God's help to never sin again. As long as you express sorrow for the sins you have committed and make a firm commitment never to commit them again with the help of God that is truly all you need to make a good confession.
I can guarantee each and every person who was reading this blog that confession will do nothing but good for you. Although not required even if you are not Catholic you are still permitted to speak to a priest. Technically it would not be a confession but feel free to enter into any confessional and say there are some things you want to get off your chest and that you want some advice about and let the priests know that you are not Catholic and he will be happy to listen.
Also many people are concerned that once the priest find out the sins people have committed he will either tell others or judge you in the future. For one thing a priest who blabs about someone else's sins is automatically excommunicated and it's one of the most serious sins a priest could possibly commit. You can be very sure a priest would never do this. And in fact there are almost no examples in the history of the world where this has happened even though there have been billions of confessions throughout history. Furthermore a priest never looks at you differently afterwards. Many priests have explained a strange phenomenon where after hearing confession they never remember them. In fact most priests say they would never want to remember any of this and because they hear very many and they're simply not interested in remembering them. Plus this strange phenomenon removes the memories from almost all priests.
Therefore be not afraid to confess your sins to a priest. I can guarantee you that no drug on Earth feels as good as leaving a confessional after having done a good confession. Trust me.