Going to Confession for the First Time in a Long Time

Going to Confession for the First Time in a Long Time

Fr. Mike Schmitz gives encouraging advice to those who have been away from the Sacrament of Confession.

Going to Confession for the First Time in a Long Time

Fr. Mike Schmitz

Fr. Mike Schmitz always presents an uplifting, approachable explanation about particulars of the Faith. In this video he gives great advice to those who, for one reason or other, have not gone to Confession for a while.

How do you remember the sins you've committed ten years ago? By using an examination of conscience, you can see where you have failed to love God. Where and how did you say "no" to Him over the course of the time you've been away?

Sin breaks our relationship with God. Confession is the opportunity to restore that bond. Just as you would say you're sorry to someone you've injured, telling God you are sorry for offending Him repairs the damage you have incurred.

Key Takeaways

  • The Holy Spirit convicts us of what we have done wrong if we give Him the time and space to listen to His voice.
  • A good Examination of Conscience is a necessary tool to determine how we have missed the mark of loving God as we should.
  • If you unintentionally forget to mention a mortal sin in Confession, that sin is forgiven, but you should mention it the next time you go to Confession.
  • Confession is always about restoring our relationship with God. We should try to remove every impediment which stands in the way of loving Him.
  • Fr. Schmitz has co-authored a book "Pocket Guide to the Sacrament of Reconciliation"

Questions for Reflection

  1. Is there something that is keeping you from Confession?
  2. Are you willing to prepare yourself properly to receive the sacrament ?
  3. Does examining your conscience seem overwhelming, scary, intimidating, or painful?

Other Resources

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Why Confess Your Sins to a Priest? | Made For Glory

Fr. Michael Nixon continues discussing why going to Confession is helpful.
Fr. Michael Nixon

Fr. Michael Nixon discusses the authority of priests to offer forgiveness of sins through the ministry of the Church.

Jesus gave His disciples the power to forgive sins when He breathed His Spirit on them after the Resurrection. Through apostolic succession, each priest has the same power entrusted to him. This gift was given to the Church so that the forgiveness of Christ can go out to the whole world.

Through this power and authority of Jesus, we are absolved of our sins. Reconciliation between us and God and the community is obtained.

Key Takeaways

  • Christ established the Sacrament of Reconciliation to bring forgiveness to the world.
  • Priests represent Christ.
  • Authority to forgive sins is lived in and through the priest.
  • One person's sins affect the whole body of Christ.


  1. Do you believe in the authority of priests to forgive your sins?
  2. Why is going to a priest to confess your sins different than just saying them to yourself?
  3. What do you think of the reality that our sins harm the Body of Christ?

Catholicism 101: Confession!

Learn the importance of making a good Confession and how to improve your Confessions.
Institute for New Media
Institute for New Media

In this short, humorous video created by the Institute for New Media, we are given the boost we may need getting to Confession. It covers many of the fears we may face returning to the Sacrament if we've committed a sin we are especially embarrassed about.

Key Takeaways

  • The video is short and to the point
  • Clever images and vocalizations used to ease anxiety about Confession
  • Highlights God's Mercy
  • Emphasizes Confession is not about judgement

Questions for Reflection

  1. Did this video put your mind at ease regarding Confession?
  2. Is it easier for you to believe that Confession is not something you should fear after watching this video?
  3. Can you identify what's keeping you from returning to Confession?

Mortal vs. Venial Sin

In this video Fr. Mike Schmitz discusses the difference between venial sin and mortal sin.
Fr. Mike Schmitz
Ascension Presents

Fr. Mike opens with the scripture passage from 1 John 5: 16-17. "There is such a thing as deadly sin", writes John.

There are 3 stipulations for a sin to be mortal:

  1. The offense must be serious
  2. You must know it's serious
  3. You must give full consent to committing the offense

All sin is wrongdoing and an offense against God. Venial sins harm our relationship with God, but mortal sin breaks our communion with Him. This is true in all relationships. Some offenses will weaken our friendship, but some will cause irreparable damage. We should strive to not offend anyone we're in a relationship with, particularly our Lord.

The wonderful gift is that grace is always available to us. God desires to restore our relationship with Him. No one is beyond the reach of God's grace. It's time to be forgiven.

Key Takeaways

There is a difference between mortal and venial sin.

  • There is a difference between venial and mortal sin.
  • Mortal sin is a grave action, committed in full knowledge of its gravity and with full consent.
  • Venial sin weakens us to the point where it makes committing a mortal sin easier.
  • Confession is the Sacrament of Mercy.
  • Sin is a wound in our relationship with God and others.
  • Grace is always available to us

Questions for Reflection

  1. Are you sensitive to the difference between a mortal and venial sin and realize when you have committed one or the other?
  2. Do you try to avoid venial sins and confess them regularly to avoid falling into more serious sin?
  3. Do you think it's important to examine yourself daily to see a pattern of behaviors which may be sinful or ways where you have failed to love God and others?

A Guided Examination of Conscience

This Examination of Conscience is a wonderful tool that can be used every time you prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. One good word of advice: Make sure you pray before you prepare.
Father Mark-Mary
Ascension Press

Fr Mark-Mary walks you through the Ten Commandments in a way which enables you to go deeper into your examination before going to Confession. The questions he asks are helpful to anyone who desires to more thoroughly prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Examination of Conscience Using the Beatitudes

Clumsy Theosis

Looking for a different way to examine your conscience? Using the Beatitudes is a wonderful tool to see how we are not living up to the Lord's standards. "Am I gentle with others or am I harsh?" "Do I truly yearn for God's Will to be done, in my life and in all things?" " Do I love purity and honesty?" These probing questions and more are in this beautiful examination.