Is it appropriate to mention successes in confession?
Disclaimer: by no means do I intend this as a way to downplay the seriousness of one's sins.  That being said, if someone goes to the same priest routinely for confession is it appropriate to humbly mention successes in one's struggle against sin during confession?  Again, the intent not being to brag, but to let the confessor know that you're trying to fight temptation, and that any advice he's given you has helped.  Something along the lines of, "Father, I struggle with X, and have committed X one time this week.  While I acknowledge this is an offense against God, and am sorry, it is a decrease from 5 times the previous couple weeks.  I still have to struggle, but your advice has helped reduce my inclination to X"  or words to that effect.

Just curious.
-sent by howitzer via the breech.

God's love is manifest in the landscape as in a face.  - John Muir

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you clear remembrance of the Creator.  A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made  - Saint Basil

Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads. - Thoreau, Walden
Why?  Like you said, not to brag.  But his advice may change since you are making progress he may have a "step 2".
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  • jack89
In normal confessions, no. Mention sins only, plus any circumstances that substantially alter the kind of sin or its gravity.

Two reasons :

1. In charity to the others in line. If your confession takes an extra minute as a result, perhaps someone who needs to confess will not be able to do so.

2. Confession is essentially a trial. You are prosecutor and defendant. You are giving the indictment as prosecutor, and as defendant admitting guilt. The priest judges you guilty (which is why he needs jurisdiction), then commutes the eternal punishment and gives a small penance to help pay for the temporal punishment. Successes are not useful in making that judgement. They may be in giving advice, but are not essential, and even may be harmful by turning the confession not into a counselor's chair, and not a prie-dieu.

In a confession attached to spiritual direction, or if you're the only one in line and won't hold anyone up, there may be some utility to help get good advice from the priest and perhaps develop a more sure means of avoiding sin. That said, if it's in spiritual direction then you're probably going to talk about those things in direction anyway, so its usefulness is limited.

So in short, at a standard confession follow the three Bs : Be honest, Be sorry, Be gone. Sins only. If it is a confession before or after direction or there's no line at the box, you can mention a bit more, but be careful not to turn confession into a counseling session. If you need counseling talk to a priest outside of the box.

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