How to Make a Good Confession
Publication Date: April 1, 2001
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Knowing how to make a good Confession can be intimidating, but with Fr. John Kane’s book How to Make a Good Confession, you can learn to make the most effective possible use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and carry its grace into your daily life.
This down-to-earth, practical guide shows you how to transform a difficult situation into an opportunity for mercy and love. Fr. Kane helps you learn how to recognize and name yours sins, walk through an examination of conscience, articulate your sins honestly before the priest, practice contrition and receive absolution with contrition and humility so that you can grasp the Lord’s great gift which is activated by confession. You will also learn where and when confession is rightly celebrated and what spiritual preparations may be necessary before confession.
Even better, this book walks you through how to live out God’s mercy after confession - helping you start consistently winning your battles against sin. With engaging illustrations and clear guidance from Father Kane throughout the book, How to Make a Good Confession is the perfect companion for anyone seeking to enliven their faith.
Get Fr. Kane's help and learn:
• Learn how to make a good confession and have a clean conscience
• Get tips and advice from a professional priest
• Drive sin out of your soul and become closer to God
• Understand why sinners are punished and saints are forgiven
• Learn about the characteristics of a truly forgiven sinner
• Gain insight into your own past sins and how they can help you today
• Find true repentance and its counterfeits with ease
• Discover how to tell whether you're really sorry for your sins or not
• Embrace the embarrassment of going to confession and see the benefits it has for you
• Understand the heavy price of sin and why it's worse than you think
The striving of the soul to rid iteself of sin is the best evidence of the progress of its remorse. We are more certain of our sin than of our penitence. We know our sin directly; only by inference from its practical results can we prove our penitence.
Not the malice of sin in itself, but rather, the love of self-indulgence, is the reason for sin.
True repentance is easily discerned. Mortification is its soul. When we repeatedly resist our ruling passion, when we remove the causes that stir into action, when we lay the axe to the root of sin, when we are proof against the alluring voice of self-love, which ever seeks to discredit the claims of conscience, when we bridle the triple concupiscence of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, when we are guided by the divine philosophy of the dospel and not by the uncertain, shifting maxims of the world, when the spirit of self-denial has so thoroughly woven itself into the fibers of our religious life as to make us impervious to the poisonous exhalations of worldliness, sensuality, and pride, when there is a substantial, not an accidental chance in our attitude toward sin in its complex guises, when the Cross is for us the test and measure of success, when we learn the secret of sanctity from its greatest exponent and exemplar, Jesus Christ, who "did not please Himself," when we "rend our hearts and not our garments," and turn wholly to the Lord, our God --- then and then only are we truly penitent.
The soul that is not truly penitent still hankers after the seductive sweetness of sin; it flees not its devious paths; its enchanting spell still lulls the soul to sleep; self-love, and not the love of God, still rules supreme.
As we are creatures of habit, we must exercise special care when we confess frequently. Change being the law of our existence, constant repitition dulls the appreciation of what we do. An act often repeated is apt to become very commonplace.
Self-denial in all its complex varieties --- special fasting, untiring toil, perservering prayer, constant Christian charity, total forgetfulness of self --- all these are the effects of the working of love striving to deepen the soul's hatred of its former shame.
The sincerely penitent soul, no matter how sinful its past, may reach as high a degree of holiness as the soul that has never lost its baptismal innocence. There are no limits to its spiritual advancement.
From its birth until its full maturity in the soul, the spiritual life admits of three stages of development --- the purgative, the illuminative, and the unitive.
The universally applicable test of an amended life is not the mere conquest of a ruling passion, but the development of its opposite virtue.
We are saved more by faith increasing, tendencies developing, and charity expanding than by knowledge acquired, results obtained, and victories won.
Our pursuit of holiness, not its actual acquisition, is the basis of our judgment of the extent of our virtue.
Fr. George William Rutler
"It is a great thing to make a good confession, and this is a good book about how to do it."
"This magnificent handbook helps you deepen your repentance and make it lasting. Don't go to Confession without it!"
Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J.
"Teaches us not only how to go to Confession, but also how to stir up sentiments of repentance and purpose of amendment that are necessary to receive the sacrament fruitfully. Worth reading again and again."
Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P.
"Can help a person get into the salutary habit of a regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation."
Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J.
"A marvelous book. Can provide spiritual nourishment throughout the whole process of repentance, confession, and spiritual growth."
Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
"A welcome blessing. It offers a fine examination of conscience, ideally presented to meet today's needs."
Great book, at 72, I think that this is the first time I go to Confession with true repentance. After reading HOW TO MAKE A GOOD CONFESSION, I went to the confessional confident of making the best Confession of my life.
Good overall. Excellent Examination of Conscience if you’re working on failings & omissions rather than needing a comprehensive list of mortal sins. The language was a little tiresome; not as concise as saints’ writings from earlier times and with needless embellishment as modern churchmen commonly write. I read this book a chapter at a time during my weekly Holy Hour. I think it was helpful to break between each topic.
Whether you're a frequent confession goer or haven't gone to Confession in years, Fr. Kane effectively maps out what is spiritually going on within you -- what that feels like and what your soul is actually going through. Fr. Kane talks about the pitfalls of going to confession very rarely, but at the same time the threats to avoid when you go to confession frequently. They provide an incredibly robust list of questions to ask yourself for a thorough examination of conscience. This alone was worth the price of the book! Tackle those questions, work on tackling them better, and dollars to donuts, you will become a saint!