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A Powerful Confession Strategy

Confessional in a church

I try to go to Confession once a month, but sometimes my schedule conspires against me. In early September, I was overdue and itching to go, which landed me in a parish half an hour away on a Tuesday night. Confession was preceded by a Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which was something truly beautiful. Afterwards, both priests assigned to the parish heard confessions. Even though it was after 8pm, the lines were quite long.

I don't often get the chance to go to Confession to a priest outside of my parish, but when I do, it's special. Many Catholics, myself included, seek extreme anonymity in the Sacrament, and so going to a priest that you don't know and likely will never meet is especially comforting. I find myself less resistant to giving a full confession when I don't know the priest. It's silly, I know, but it's also part of the human experience to attempt to save face.

Most of us will struggle with the same habitual sins throughout our life. If not the same particular sin, sins surrounding the same character defect. Having a regular confessor, one with whom you have some rapport, can be immensely helpful. A regular confessor can get to know you better and offer more tailored advice. Having the opportunity to go on occasion to a different confessor can lend some fresh eyes and a new perspective to your situation. Combining the two, you can come up with a really powerful plan for overcoming whatever is keeping you stuck.

If it's difficult to travel to another parish for confession, there are opportunities such as Parish Penance services or even going to Confession while you're traveling. You should never be afraid of Reconciliation, or of a priest yelling at you during the Sacrament. At the same time, there are some very real benefits to having a regular confessor and on occasion going to a priest that you'll never meet again.