Maybe it would be
helpful to realize that Confession isn't about forgiving ourselves. Rather it is
to seek God's forgiveness for our sins. We should seek God's forgiveness & grace
even if we are not yet able to forgive ourselves for something. We can then ask
God for the grace to forgive ourselves. What really matters – what is essential
– is whether we are forgiven by God. Remember that Christ himself invested his
priests with the authority to bind and loose, so when you have a good Confession
& hear the words of absolution from the priest, it is as if you hear them from
As for receiving Holy
Communion, you must NOT do so if you have committed a mortal sin until you have
had a good sacramental Confession. In fact, someone who receives Holy Communion
while in a state of mortal sin thereby commits another sin.
As for when to go to
should go frequently, but especially after committing any mortal
If it was me, I would
speak directly with a priest about what you need to do in your particular
situation. If the priest advises that you speak with a therapist and you do not
want to, perhaps you can discuss the matter further with him (e.g. why he is
suggesting that course of action?, what are your objections to his suggestion?,
are there any suitable alternatives?).
It is not good to wait
for a long time for Confession, so I would advise that you resolve whatever
impediments you may have as soon as possible. A good priest should be willing to
help you in more detail. You can always make an appointment with a priest to
meet outside the confessional in order to discuss the particulars of your
Remember that you are
God's beloved child and there is no sin whatsoever – no matter how evil or how
many times it has been committed – that cannot be forgiven if we you are truly
sorry. So take courage and trust in the Lord who sacrificed His own life for
If you are still
hesitant, think about how lovingly the father of the prodigal son treated his
son when he returned home in Christ's parable. Also consider the rejoicing
Christ says occurs in heaven when a sinner returns. Sinning is displeasing to
God, but turning away from sin is very pleasing to Him. We have all sinned and
need to repent. You are not alone. Just trust in God and do what is necessary in
order to receive God's forgiveness. Perhaps after you do that you will find it
easier to forgive yourself.
Best wishes to you for
"May the Lord bless
thee and keep thee. May he show his face to thee and have mercy on thee. May he
turn his countenance to thee and give thee peace." [From the Seraphic Blessing
of St. Francis of Assisi (cf. Num. 6:24-26)]
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