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When you go to confess, what if you have done something bad and you are too embarrassed to tell the priest? What do you do?
Requested and Answered by Billious-MicMek on 15-Jul-2005 23:46 (2268 reads)
It is very important to confess all the sins you remember and receive absolution for them. This is part of being completely honest before God. But being the human beings we are, there may be sins we feel ashamed to confess. Sadly, the devil can sometimes use this reluctance to keep us feeling guilty. Just think of this: you have repented the sin, feel terrible about it, and firmly decide never again to repeat it. You determine to confess it, and immediately begin to feel better about it. But then you come to confession in front of Abouna, and suddenly find it just won’t come out! You struggle with yourself, but end up leaving confession with the knowledge that you have consciously hidden a sin. Now the guilt increases again, and all the peace you gained from repentance is lost in the guilt of the unconfessed sin. How clever is that? Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you are having trouble confessing a shameful sin:

• Confession Fathers deeply and genuinely respect people who have the courage and determination to lay bare their worst sins. It shows that they love God more than they love their pride or dignity.
• Confession Fathers have their own sins and their own confession fathers. He will never look down on you because he knows that he himself is a sinner just like you.
• Confession Fathers take hundreds of confessions. The last thing they need is to go around trying to remember who did which sins! Very likely, the next time you see him, he will have forgotten your sins.
• Confessions are 100% confidential. No one else will ever know.
• In some ways, it feels so much better to have at least one other person who knows the worst about you, especially if that person loves you and treats you like a son or daughter, no matter what you’ve done. As the old saying goes, “A problem shared is a problem halved�.
• Exposing sin helps to get rid of it. The devil loves to work in the dark where no one can see him. Revealing the sin to your Confession Father sheds the light of the Holy Spirit on the sin and makes it more difficult for you to continue in sin.
• Confessing the sin also opens the door for your Confession Father to advise you on how to repent from that sin and to support you in that struggle.
• Confession teaches us humility. The worst sins we confess remind us of just how weak we are. When you just repent by yourself, it’s easy to forget this lesson, but when you have to embarrass yourself in front of someone else, you don’t forget so easily!

If you’re still having trouble confessing a sin, try to at least hint to Abouna the general type of sin that it is. Confession Fathers know that there are only a limited number of sins that people generally find really hard to confess, so you may not need to spell it out if Abouna works it out. If that still doesn’t work, your confession father may allow you to just write the sin on a bit of paper and hand it to him. He can read it after you’ve gone and then destroy it.