One of the predicaments Catholics have in confession is how to confess sins, particularly when it is related to sex. Unlike any other sins, confessing sexual sins can be awkward. A confessing individual might feel ashamed thus not divulging it at all. But really, how to confess sexual sins? How detailed should it be?
To answer this, I interviewed my religious friend, a Redemptorist Priest who is actively receiving contrite souls inside the confession box.
Examples of Sexual Sins
Before we dig deeper and answer the question, let’s enumerate first some of the examples of sexual sins.
Here are the sex-related sins.
How about sexual thoughts? Are they not sins that need to be confessed?
Sexual thoughts can be a sin or not at all.
If one deliberately thinks of these impure thoughts, then there is a sin.
On the other hand, for those who have religious Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Scrupulosity), these thoughts are classified as intrusive thoughts– unwanted thoughts unexpectedly enter one’s head.
Since having these is a sign of scrupulosity, these thoughts are common for them. The moment they get into their minds does not mean they are sinning because there is actually no intention in the first place.
To know more about scrupulosity, you might want to check this out.
So now, let’s answer the question.
How to confess sexual sins?
According to Fr. JM, CSsR, you can confess the above sins in general even without mentioning the smallest details. In addition, you also have to reveal the frequency you committed them.
For example, if you had sexual intercourse with someone outside marriage (fornication) multiple times, you just have to say to your confessor that you had committed fornication and tell him you did it many times.
Another one is pornography, if you are addicted to watching adult content, you just need to mention that you have been watching pornography for a long time. You need not go into the tiniest details.
The confessor will then offer you counsel plus penances and finally absolve you from your sins.
If it is your first time confessing, you can visit this Comprehensive Guide to Confession for beginners.
For a list of other mortal sins, you can check this out.
After confession, there is a propensity for people to go back to their old ways. We are human and we can fall from sin again anytime. Although it is understandable, we must still work hard to be better!
Here are some of the resources that could help you in fighting lustful sins.
Pornography and Masturbation
If you are struggling with pornography and masturbation, you can check these.
For those who have homosexual tendencies, you might want to join Courage.
It is an apostolate offering support for those who experience same-sex attractions. Helping them and their loved ones to go through this struggle.
For couples whose in difficult relationships due to unfaithfulness, here is a Catholic resource for marital healing you can check.
You can also try this collection of Catholic Books on Chastity.
These books discuss how to achieve a life of chastity.
From the challenges of being celibate as a single to homosexuality, these books can help you live a pure life.
Confessing embarrassing sins like impure acts is a difficult task. You need to uncover your deepest secrets and fearfully hear what the priest would say to you after. It takes a lot of courage! But know that we are all sinners. At the end of the day, what matters is our conviction to change for the better. To be holy.
Looking for a resource for chastity? You might want to check these books out.
St. Gerard Majella, Patron Saint of Good Confessions, pray for us.