In the Sacrament of Penance, the priest represents Christ, Who desires to reconcile you with the Father. It is important for you to reveal to the priest any mortal sins you may have committed. While it is good for you to confess even venial sins, it is not necessary for you to do so since venial sins are also forgiven by receiving Holy Communion or by saying a good Act of Contrition. Mortal sins are only forgiven in Confession to a priest. This a formal act of humility and love.
The priest gives you a penance as a matter of Justice. There are always consequences of our sinful actions and, if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we have wounded others and God by our sinfulness. We need to make up for inflicting our sinfulness by making amends, saying we’re sorry, and doing penance as a sign of our sincerity. “Sin wounds our relationship with God and others as well as our own human dignity. Faith reveals to us the destructive force of sin in our lives and in our world.” (Catechism for Adults, p.245)
For an adult, I would say a person should be in the habit of going to confession every two weeks to a month – not longer. For children, I recommend they be brought to confession every two weeks to ensure their habit of both recognizing their need for God’s mercy and their awareness of the Ritual of the Sacrament.
Every Christian embraces the Resurrection as the source of our Faith and trust in God’s love and mercy. Confession is the Sacrament of the Resurrection in that it raises us up from our fall to sin and gives us new life and direction!
I encourage our parishioners to re-think the importance of the sacrament of confession in their lives because this sacrament maintains a good sense of balance in a world that makes no sense without Christ!