A friend of mine asked me for stories of the occasions when confession helped me grow closer to God. I have one post that mentions confession but haven't really written about it. Confession is difficult for me. I always want to confess everything, including flaws & they only want sins. And since my catechesis has been unusual, I tend to know a lot about some issues and very little about others such as confession. So here are three stories:
I used to give the back story as if I was in therapy until one day a Polish Dominican said to me, "I know you think you'll never get over all the things that were done to you when you were a child but you don't have to tell me all of that. Just tell me your sins." "You mean like a laundry list?" I replied. "Exactly." And then he added, "I'm only telling you this because I think you want a more perfect way." I thanked him & told him he was right, I do want a more perfect way. What I didn't tell him was that no one had ever taught me how to make a confession.
On another occasion when I was again confessing a sin of which I was particularly ashamed, I began to cry & said, through my tears, "But I don't want to commit this sin!" The same Polish Dominican calmly said, "Then don't." It was the first time anyone had ever told me that I decide whether or not I sin; that sin is an act of will.
Finally, when I was confessing impatience w/ occasional taxi drivers, medical office persons or pharmacy persons, an Australian priest pointed out to me that I was being impatient with my caregivers. He showed me that many, many people are caring for me & not just friends & doctors. He was so good at seeing into my failures that I thought it might be very painful to go to him for confession regularly.
All good confessors have taught me is that I have so much more to be grateful for, that I am so much more loved & so much more a participant than I imagined. They teach me to be more fully human. I actually hope my health & appointments will allow me to go to weekly confession soon.
In the comments, please let me know of experiences in confession that help you grow closer to God.