Recognize that Christ instituted this sacrament out of love for us. He recognizes our inabilities, our problems, our sins and He responds with the gift of forgiveness. Seven times seven. Infinity times infinity. He is a loving God, a forgiving God.

We enter the confessional with maybe some fear, some uneasiness. Try to eliminate that immediately. Think of Jesus saying, “Let the little ones come to me.” To him we are children, struggling, tripping and fighting amongst ourselves. He wants to hear us call out to Him and tell Him we are sorry. Sorry for the sin, yes. But more importantly, sorry that our lives caused Him to suffer and die.

We are either kneeling or sitting before the priest. “Bless me father, for I have sinned…” Keep in mind you are not talking to a judge, to an executioner. You are talking to a priest, a fellow human being, who also struggles and trips as well. “Judge not, lest you be judged.” He is there to encourage you, to aid you, to help you in understanding yourself.

So what do you, an adult confess on your first time in the confessional? To list every sin, every mistake made, every fault would be an impossible task, and an extremely long one, at that. In the days prior to your first sacrament of reconciliation, it would be good to look for patterns in your lifestyle. Start now. Start looking at areas of your life that are leading you towards a way of life that you know is wrong. Remember the slippery slope mentioned in the talk on Reconciliation. Every imperfection, slides down to something less correct, until we hit rock bottom and commit something severely wrong. (Example: You don’t start out as a murderer, but someone who dislikes people, then bullies these people, then … then… then…)

We are where we are today, by all that has happened in the yesterdays.

Look at your life. Look at those things in your life that cause you to close your eyes and shake your head. Those things, of which you are really ashamed, of which you know that you shouldn’t be doing, they are probably what you need to mention first. The purpose of this sacrament is NOT, “let’s see if I can squeeze forgiveness out of the priest.” It is “what are those things that are preventing me from embracing Jesus”.