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I have made an appointment to see an English-speaking priest here in Paris this week to make my first Confession in 41 years. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have come back to the Church. My French is okay, but not good enough for the purposes of Confession.

Anyway, I have been making a list of my sins (ugh, so many and so horrible) that I feel like creating an Excel spreadsheet to organize them and number them.

Any tips on making a thorough Confession after eons away from the Church?
Well, maybe I can give advice since I went to Confession for the first time ever this year. I assume you've told the priest that you have not received the Sacrament of Penance in 41 years?

You'll be making a General Confession, I assume. I would reccommend that you read the
Confession page on Fish Eaters if you haven't done so already. It has a pretty comprehensive Examination of Conscience on there.

Make an examination of conscience covering all the sins you have committed in your life. You should make a list in order of gravity (confess all known mortal sins before you even touch venial sins). Try to list your sins along with their number; if you can't remember the number or you committed a particular sin too many times to count, then tell the priest that.

Don't beat yourself up too much. Don't try to rack your brain to remember every little sin. Remember that if you honestly forget to confess something, it's forgiven (on the condition that if you remember it later you confess it the next time you go to confession).

I hope I'm of some help.
(06-25-2017, 04:24 PM)Julia Augusta Wrote: [ -> ]I have made an appointment to see an English-speaking priest here in Paris this week to make my first Confession in 41 years. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have come back to the Church. My French is okay, but not good enough for the purposes of Confession.

Anyway, I have been making a list of my sins (ugh, so many and so horrible) that I feel like creating an Excel spreadsheet to organize them and number them.

Any tips on making a thorough Confession after eons away from the Church?

I just made my first general confession earlier this past easter.  A good confession starts with a sincere and heartfelt examination of conscience.  For myself with my general confession, I spent a lot of time in consideration, and I ended up with an excel list also.  What the list allowed me to do, and what it may allow you to do is see a root cause for much of your sin (addictions, sexual hurt) , and I would reference the list during the confession so that you do not  forget anything, given the time between confessions, so that you do not end up with a case of scruples afterwards for what you may have forgotten to say.  After my general confession, it was one of the few times I felt at ease with the world.

A good template for an examination of conscience is as follows...

http://www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/examconc.asp

God bless.
(06-25-2017, 08:50 PM)The Tax Collector Wrote: [ -> ]http://www.fatima.org/essentials/requests/examconc.asp

I've used that one in combination with some others:

http://www.sensustraditionis.org/Examina...ceLong.pdf

This one divides by mortal and venial, after you scroll down for several pages:
http://www.princeofpeacetaylors.net/wp-c...ooklet.pdf

Thorough!
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thec...adults.htm
Also this one:
http://www.saintcofa.com/media/1/30/Exam...20Sins.pdf

and this one:
https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/9...onscience/

I tend to use several every time.  The reason is that one may express something in a certain way that I recognize more readily than the questions asked in another examen for that particular confessional occasion.

But many people use only one -- the same one every time.  For myself, I often need many ways to ask myself how I have sinned.  And when I came back to the sacraments after a lapse, I needed to look at my life from many different angles.  Hence I searched for many examens in that process. 
I'd recommend writing them all down in a notebook so you can read them out during confession instead of needing to remember, is that common practice? That's usually what I do.
(06-26-2017, 12:16 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: [ -> ]I'd recommend writing them all down in a notebook so you can read them out during confession instead of needing to remember, is that common practice? That's usually what I do.

Yes, I have written thrm down in a notebook and will read them out.
(06-26-2017, 12:16 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: [ -> ]I'd recommend writing them all down in a notebook so you can read them out during confession instead of needing to remember, is that common practice? That's usually what I do.
It is what I also do.  The reason I do it is that I tend to forget otherwise, in the nervousness of the moment, or when I get distracted, or when the Devil tempts me to omit something which then becomes a subconscious desire to suppress it.  The Devil always accompanies us into the confessional, so we need to guard ourselves against his subtle, clever tricks.  Committing to paper is a wonderful way to vanquish him.

If my list is unusually short (rare), I can sometimes memorize it and discard the list, but this doesn't happen often.  It would be more likely if I were just going to confess a single very troubling mortal sin after a different recent, more planned confession.