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How often should I go to confession?

How often do you shower? Is your body more important than your soul?
If I could go to Confession each day of the week, I would. Unfortunately my own sloth, the worries of daily life, and the schedule at most churches preclude me from doing this. So, I've gotten in the habit of going every Saturday (unless my Saturday goes berserk) because Saturday is the day when Confession is offered in most parishes.

We all need to create a habit of confession that we can sustain. Below I provide a guideline that can get you started.

  1. Understand that a disciplined Confession is not sustainable without a life of prayer. The two go together  hand in glove. If you are not praying daily, you will find it very difficult to sustain a regular rhythm for your confessions. So work on your prayer life and do not neglect it.
  2. Establish an initial frequency for Confession. Once a month is a good place to start. If you cannot, do it once every two months but reckon that this is not frequent enough. Better to go once every two months than to go irregularly.
  3. Once you have your discipline established and you have gone to Confession at least 6 times, double your frequency and see if you can sustain this new rhythm.  Do not give up the fight.
  4. Continue to do so until you are going once a week. This is my recommendation based on experience. I know that this is not easy, and some of you may be discouraged by the thought that you might have to get there. The Church recommends twice a month or once every two weeks, which is very good.  On the other hand, I have been told but I have not yet confirmed it, that John Paul II used to go to Confession every day. Why? Because it is such a good thing, this is why. As with most very good things, you don't get to understand why until you do it.
  5. I would also say that when you make going to Confession your absolute top priority on a particular day,  then, no matter what , you go to Confession that day (barring necessary acts of charity). If you don't heed this suggestion, I can tell you, from sad experience, that chances are you won't go. So put up the good fight, say to yourself, "Today I am going to Confession" and go.
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