- Avoid confessing other people’s sins. ‘My friend, wife, husband, etc. makes me so mad because they are always doing such and such, and, etc, …’
- Avoid telling the priest how good you are. ‘I’m really a good person. I do my job at work and look after my wife, husband, and, etc. …’
- Avoid telling the priest which sins you don’t commit. ‘I don’t steal or lie or deliberately hurt anyone or, etc …’
- Avoid telling the priest you ‘might have’ committed some sins. ‘Perhaps I could have been more kind, and maybe I could have been more honest, perhaps, and, etc …’
- Avoid confessing all the minor sins first and then the big ones at the end. Confess the ones you don’t want to confess – first.
- Avoid ‘generic’ confessions. ‘I’ve been a bit bad and not as nice as I could have been, and, etc ...’
- Avoid giving yourself advice – let the priest do that. ‘I know I will have to begin to pray more, and maybe if I made an effort to balance my prayer life with my work, etc, ...’
- Avoid confessing to yourself. ‘I feel I have let myself down and find it difficult to forgive myself. I must learn to be more true to myself and, etc ...’
- Avoid unnecessary detail. ‘Well, it was Tuesday, no Wednesday at 4pm and I was with my little sister at the park and we saw this woman who was walking along the path, actually, maybe it was Tuesday after all, yes, I think it was, etc ...’
- Avoid minimising your sins. ‘I only have small sins, like, you know, sins that everyone has, the normal sins, etc ...’
Making a good confession is not difficult really, it just needs some quiet time to prepare and then, as they say, name your sins and claim your sins. ‘Father, I’ve been taking things home from work, small things, but it’s still stealing.’ …. ‘Father, I’ve had an abortion. I have come to realise how wrong it was and I want to ask God’s forgiveness.’ …. ‘Father, I’ve been missing Mass through laziness and I took Holy Communion twice, knowing it was wrong to do so.’
Simple? Go for it!!