1. SELF-KNOWLEDGE. One of the classic steps to make a good confession is Contrition and to make a firm purpose of amendment. Capture what were the preceding causes that led to your falling into a particular sin. Was it a recurring situation at work or within the confines of family life? Could it be a physical state of weariness? Or perhaps some improper use of the modern social media? A lack of restraint or prudence?
2. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE. Have a good booklet as a guide to help you make a good Examination of Conscience. Find a quiet and contemplative place to be still and to pray. You may write down your sins so as not to forget them once in the confessional! Also, pray for your confessor before you meet him! Pray to the Saints to help you confess well and that each confession you make will be better than the last. Do get a little help from your friend, namely – your patron Saint!
3. BIBLICAL PASSAGES. The Church highly recommends the use of Sacred Scripture as a means to prepare us for a better reception of the Sacraments. Two excellent passages I would recommend are Lk.15 and Psalm 51. Praying with the Word of God adds extra power to one’s prayer!
4. QUALITIES OF A GOOD CONFESSION. According to Saint Faustina, one makes a good confession when it is made: 1) in complete sincerity and openness; 2) in humility and 3) in obedience. Once you have these attributes, you cannot go wrong!
6. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. Even though one might fall frequently, never give in to discouragement. Some bad habits have possibly clung to us for decades. Change is often tedious, laborious and painful. The key is to keep praying, working, fighting as a true soldier of Christ, and to be liberated from the shackles of sin. As St. Paul reminds us, “Where sin abounds God’s mercy abounds all the more.” (Rom 5:20)
7. MARY AND MERCY. Never forget to invite Mary to be present in your remote as well as in your immediate preparation for Confession. Ask Mary to accompany you into the Confessional so that you make the best confession ever in your life. Behind many powerful conversions is of course, the grace of God and the maternal intercession of Mary!
“Confess as if it were your first, last and only time.”
Take Note: Simple formula how to do confession.
i. Make the sign of the Cross
ii. Do mention when was your last confession. Followed by your sins.
iii. Act of Contrite: Oh my God. I am truly sorry for I have sinned against you. By the help of your grace I shall sin no more. Amen.