Question: Your blessing, Father. I’d like to confess but I don’t know anything about it and I don’t know what to say. Do I need to find a priest in the church and ask him to hear my confession or should I simply come to a church when there is a confession according to the timetable? Do I need to say a prayer or simply say, “I have sinned...” and list my sins? I’m young but I have already sinned a lot. I’m afraid that the priest will oust or refuse to hear my confession. Please advise me on what I should do.
Answer: Come to the church when there is a confession in the timetable. You shouldn’t overthink it too much. You don’t come to a priest: you come to God, and it is God who you entrust your heart and your life to. You should recall every bad action in your life and confess it. A priest won’t drive you away: in fact, he will be glad that you have so much courage to openly speak about your sins. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Cf. Romans 5: 20). Be sure to tell the priest that it is your first confession: that’s important. The Lord came to save sinners. An individual receives graceful help during a confession, which empowers him or her to struggle with sins and try abstaining from them. That’s why you shouldn’t doubt and worry: go and confess as soon as you can. After the confession, if God lets you and the priest blesses you, you should partake of the Holy Mysteries.
When your soul is sick, you disinfect its wounds by Communion. It can hurt. The Lord may grant comfort and joy one time and you may have to withstand a spiritual battle the other time and feel depressed.
The Holy Spirit is present when we confess, and its action goes a long way. As long as you trust your confessor and also understand that you speak to God through him and God delivers you from your sins through your confessor.
When one comes back to the Church after a long absence, the priest ought to help that person and support him or her because it’s quite challenging to cross the threshold of the church, to confess and take Communion again.