Daniel asked:

I’ve been away from the Church for a couple decades. I want to go to confession. How can I make a good one?

Patrick Madrid replied:

"...most of the time these things are profound in their impact. But it doesn’t mean of course that you’ll be cured overnight and that all the sinful ways or sinful attitudes or whatever will go away instantaneously ... Just remember this feeling that you are feeling right now. When you are tempted to turn back from this road or to back slide, these temptations will happen in due time, just remember this feeling now and say, 'I never want to go back.'

It’s not about feelings as if they were just emotions, but that realization that you have that God’s grace is working in you. Don’t part with that. Don’t allow the devil to substitute something cheap and tawdry for what you have now.

As far as going to confession is concerned I think you are wise to set aside the time to have a confession with a priest outside of the normally scheduled times for confession at a parish because, after all this kind of thing can take some time. What’s required is not a perfect memory. You can’t be expected to remember everything over the course of twenty eight years things pile up ... Tell those that you can remember, make an honest effort during your examination of conscience to think through all the ten commandments and to look back on your life and just say in what ways have I failed in these different categories.

Take particular note of those mortal sins ... look at first John chapter 5 where the apostle John makes the distinction between venial sins and mortal sins ... Daniel as you’re making your examination of conscience you’re coming up with your recollections as best you can, honestly without trying to not think about some things, especially those things that might be more embarrassing ... Simply confess them, kind and number. You don’t have to go into the gory details. You don’t have to provide all kinds of background or talk about other people. Give enough information so that the priest understands the kind of sin it was ... Leave everything else in God’s hands. You can rest assured that in confession you’ll be forgiven of your sins ..."


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Show air date: September 5, 2013

Question appeared in show: 1:05

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