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

Explore more

Confession Changed Me

Confession changed the life of several people who were away from the Sacrament for many years.
Joseph Pronechen
NC Register

Joseph Pronechen collects stories about several people who returned to the Sacrament of Reconciliation after being away for many years. Beautiful testimonies! There is so much joy in their return to God.


Bulldog Catholic examination of Conscience

Complete Examination of Conscience to help prepare you to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Bulldog Catholic

This Examination of Conscience is very thorough covering:

Making an Examination of Conscience

The difference between mortal and venial sin

The Ten Commandments

The precepts of the Church

How to go to Confession

Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding Confession

Quotes from Saints on Confession

Pope Francis on 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?

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.


Why Confess Your Sins to a Priest (Part 2) | Made for Glory

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

In Fr. Nixon's first video on Confession, he explains where the authority of the sacrament originated. Jesus has the power to forgive sins and He passes this ability on to His priests. In this video he examines some particulars of the sacrament.

A priest may never break the seal of Confession. He is forbidden to discuss any particulars of what he has been told by the penitent. He assures us that priests do not remember the sins they have been told. After hearing many Confessions, a priest will not be scandalized by our sins.

In Confession we name what we have done. Declaring it out loud is in an important step in the healing process. The wound has been opened and can now be cured.

Key Takeaways

  • Your sins are not that interesting.
  • The priest rejoices with those who are coming to the sacrament.
  • We are good at deceiving ourselves, that's why it's important to confess our sins.
  • When we claim our sins, God can bring His grace, His mercy and His healing to our soul.
  • When we hide our sins they fester.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Have you ever been healed of a sin you were afraid to confess and felt the relief afterwards?
  2. Did you realize how serious the seal of Confession is for a priest?
  3. Are there things in your life you blame others for, but you know they are a result of your own failings?

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?