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[Sticky] General confession of the whole life
What is a general confession?
General confession is a life-long confession, if a person comes to it for the first time, or a certain period of life after the last general confession. In general confession, both confession and absolution cover the entire period of confession.
General confession is recommended as necessary, necessary or useful:
a. General confession is necessary when a person's conscience remains troubled, because there has been a deliberate concealment of a serious sin in the past, or when there has been no regret after confessing grave sins, or there has been no resolution of any serious problems or no compensation for serious wrongs done. Such a situation can only be remedied by a general confession of the whole life.
b. General confession is needed when a person is haunted by doubts of conscience about the quality of old confessions, although he is not sure whether they were invalid for one of the reasons mentioned above, or when there was no progress in the Christian life for a long period of time. Many people decide to make general confession also in the face of a serious illness or a sensed impending death, wishing to stand before Christ with the truth of their life so far, in order to prepare their hearts as best as possible for a direct encounter with Him face to face.
c. General confession is useful when a person experiences a moment of radical conversion or deepening of religious life, as well as at moments of important and crucial events in life that begin its next stage (e.g. before receiving the sacrament of confirmation, marriage, priesthood, before making a profession). religious, on the occasion of parish missions, on the occasion of celebrating the jubilee of the 25th or 50th anniversary of marriage or birth, priestly ordination, on the occasion of various other important anniversaries, etc.).
How to dismiss it?
The beginning of a general confession is the same as for any other confession. After confessing the sins committed in the period since the last confession (this is where you must begin), you should confess to the confessor your desire to make a general confession along with the circumstances that gave rise to this desire. Then the confessor should be informed about the time of the last general confession (if it has already taken place).
The next step will be to confess sins, especially grave sins committed since the last general confession. As far as possible, try to confess all sins that can be remembered. It is obvious that an examination of conscience, sometimes covering several dozen years of life, cannot be too detailed. In general, however, grave sins are recorded quite deeply in the conscience and it is possible to confess them. After confessing sins, there may be a dialogue with the confessor. Ideally, the confessor should be allowed to continue the confession.
Having received absolution at general confession, one should never return to past sins during confession. The need to constantly confess the same sins can be a sign of a lack of faith in the real forgiveness received through sacramental absolution through the priestly ministry.
General confession should not be made too often. It should remain an exceptional practice linked to the special circumstances mentioned above.
Prayer to St. GERARDA - the patron saint of good confession
St. Gerard Majella (1726-1755), a Redemptorist, religious brother, was canonized in 1904 by Pope Pius X. The ability to help sinners to persuade them to fruitfully enter the sacrament of reconciliation was revealed in many miraculous conversions during the Saint's life and after his death. He was a religious brother, so he did not grant absolution. However, he was able to prepare people like no other to receive the sacrament of reconciliation worthily. He was also great at giving courage to overcome shame and fear of a confessor. He had a miraculous gift of penetrating consciences, thanks to which he helped sinners discover sins concealed in confession, and he was able to shake the most unrepentant ones and persuade them to confess sincerely.
That is why St. Gerard Majella is considered the patron of good confession. Many who wish to make a good confession are asked for his intercession.
Prayer to St. Gerard for a good confession
Saint Gerard, before I proceed to the sacrament of God's mercy, I am asking you, patron of good confession, for help and intercession.
You encouraged those experiencing fear and shame before going to confession; you poured repentance into your hearts and the will to resolve. Help me today so that I may know all my sins and confess them honestly in the sacrament of reconciliation. Plead for the grace of a firm resolve that I will never come back to them again.
Be for me an angel sent from God, so that I will not only confess all my sins and sincerely regret them, but also continue on a new path of truly Christian life. Amen.