With Easter just a few weeks away, we are getting closer and closer to welcoming many new Catholics into the Church at the Easter Vigil. This is a time of joy and excitement as they prepare to participate in the sacraments and join us as brothers and sisters in Christ.
And while their journey into the Church will come to an end, the journey of learning and growing as Catholics has only just begun.
A listener named Lauren recently called in to Go Ask Your Father™ to ask Monsignor Stuart Swetland’s guidance on how to make a good Confession. Lauren will be entering the Church at Easter this year, but her question is one that both new converts and cradle Catholics can benefit from. Msgr. Stuart Swetland explained:
“What you want to do, as best you can, is to examine your conscience to look especially at any serious post-baptismal sins. Any serious sin that is post-baptismal you will want to confess, in number and kind.
You want to use a good Examination of Conscience, and that’s usually based on the 10 Commandments. These are available in many different places, and they are available on the Relevant Radio® App as well.
As you look through it, just make a note of the things that you’ll need to comment on. The first three Commandments have to do with our relationship with God, and the last seven have to do with our relationship with others – beginning with our parents, our relationship with family, and then moving on from that.
So as you go through that, be as complete and thorough as you can, without being scrupulous. Because the Lord doesn’t want that from us, He just wants us to recognize our sins.
The Lord already knows this, of course, and you’re not going to say anything the priest hasn’t heard before from a multitude of people, so it’s just a matter of being honest, and as best as you can go through all that. And then after you go through the 10 Commandments and the Examination of Conscience, I always recommend to people to ask the Two Great Commandments and make sure you covered everything in love of God and love of others.
Also, ask any specific questions that relates to one’s vocation. A doctor’s vocation, for example, would include temptations that a lawyer’s doesn’t, and vice versa. So whatever your vocation is, whatever your state of life, consider any particular things related to that which aren’t covered by the general examen.
Don’t worry too much. The priest will help you through this. That’s what the priest is there for, especially in your first Confession. If you look at the Relevant Radio App, there is a Confession Helper section. It has How to go to Confession, Make a Good Confession, Examination of Conscience, Prayer Before Confession, Act of Contrition, and Prayer After Confession. It’s all there on the App. It’s a great App and it has a lot of help there, and I find the Examination there very thorough.”
Listen to the full conversation below, and join us in praying for Lauren and all who are coming into full communion with the Catholic Church this Easter:
Go Ask Your Father airs weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio.