A good confession arises from a heart that wants to change. This is the very core of a good confession - firm purpose of amendment. So how should you make a good confession? Start by spending some time in prayer, preferably before the Blessed Sacrament. Ask God to shed light upon your motivations, the desire to sin, the reasons you make the choices that lead up to sin. Next, make a good examination of conscience. That starts with an act of praise and confidence in God's grace. It is easier to want to change by first recognizing the good things that are part of total abandonment to God's mercy and grace. There are many formulas for an examination of conscience - most based on the Ten Commandments.
Remember as you enter the confessional, the priest is acting "in the person of Christ"...so speak to Christ himself, baring your soul without fear of judgement. The priest is seriously bound by the seal of the sacrament, so that nothing you say can be spoken of (in any form) outside the confessional. No priest thinks less of a sinner who repents, but rather thinks highly of a person who simply trusts in God's mercy.
Finally, take to heart the counsel of the priest and accept the penance he offers. He will invite you to express your contrition and help you if necessary to pray it. The priest will absolve you from your sins in the name of the Church.
With a lighter heart, walk out of the confessional with all your sins forgiven, a child of God! ---written by Msgr. William J. King
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