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General confession vs auricular confession
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Author:  mrpete1939 [ Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  General confession vs auricular confession

Hello everyone! I've just recently returned to the Lord after many years as a prodigal. I am deeply concerned about something. I haven't gone to confession for many years. I'm 74 yrs old now. I went to catholic school when I was a young child. I went to have an open confession at a local catholic church and had a face to face encounter with the local priest. It was a very difficult session. I brought out a lot of horrible sins that I could remember. I looked up the "Examination of Conscience" and found it to be very overwhelming. It is impossible for me to remember a whole lifetime of sins, how many times, since my last confession etc...since as I've said earlier I haven't been to confession since my early childhood. I am truly sorry of the life I've lived and want to experience God's forgiveness. What can I do when I have absolutely little memory of my sins. Please someone help me in my distress.

Author:  Arky [ Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General confession vs auricular confession

Mrpete...Welcome to the board!!! We have a priest here on the board, and hopefully he will answer your question...but until he does, I will take a shot.

I believe that when you go to confession in a situation like yours, you simply confess to the priest as many sins as you can remember, which it sounds like you did. When he gives you absolution, you are forgiven for those sins that you confessed, AND ALL THOSE IN YOUR PAST that you could not remember. In other words, rest easy in the mercy of the lord and welcome home!!!!!

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: General confession vs auricular confession

All you have to do is to confess the sins you can remember after making a reasonable attempt to remember, which you did. All the sins you couldn't remember are covered. If you remember later something you should have mentioned, next time you go to confession, say, "Father, I forgot last time to say [whatever]." That's normal, especially after a long absence from confession.

In the meantime, don't worry.

Author:  Renewed [ Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General confession vs auricular confession

Mr Pete, you have received good advice from the other 2 posters. But as I had a similar experience I thought it might also help to share that. I was 62 when I converted a few years ago and was horribly afraid of making my examination of conscience preparing for my first confession. It seemed an almost impossible task to look at my whole life and find that which it was most important to confess. In the end it was not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. Having read the threads on this site and other things I made myself sit down with a sheet of paper, prayed and then looked at my life, more or less decade by decade, remembering what was going on for me at that time, what my preoccupations and focus were, what decisions I made and so on and jotted down reminders. After a comparatively short time things began to connect,. I could see patterns and could see which sins were deeply ingrained and habitual. Of course I knew it was impossible to remember everything - every sin and its circumstances but it did feel as though I had got the gist of my life, seen where I had gone wrong and continued to go down the same paths that had become habitual . A very uncomfortable experience but so useful. And although I was still very nervous when it came to my first confession it was a good experience, really cleansing. It is a great comfort to know one is not expected to have perfect recall.

Author:  Zeno [ Thu May 08, 2014 11:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: General confession vs auricular confession

Phil Kerr
I approved your post but moved it to Apologetics which is the appropriate forum for it. The new thread has your name on it so you can find it, or you can click here viewtopic.php?f=70&t=155897&p=2574207#p2574207

DCF Team

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