Hello, all. I was just wondering, when we are forgiven our sins at confession, I know that we must be truly sorry for them to be forgiven. but, I am still a but....murky...when it comes to this. I know that when father places the stole over my head and makes the sign of the cross, while reading the prayers of absolution, my sins are forgiven. but, does this make them like they've never happened? a truly "clean slate"?
also, if I forget a sin, but remember it (and that I forgot to confess it) after confession, was it forgiven when the sins I confessed were forgiven?
and, what does one do when he feels like he's not confessing enough? I don't mean not going to confession on a regular basis, I just mean, I don't feel like I'm telling Father enough. through reading Orthodox books, I've learned a bit about what qualifies as a sin. I can pick things out, mostly in my thoughts, that are sinful. but, my priest detests it when people make lists. so, I forget what I pointed out to myself, and, as I sit waiting to go to confession, I can only really remember like 2 or 3 sins from the past month! I don't want the priest to think I'm not taking the sacrament seriously!
what are your thoughts on this?
1. Yes, it's a clean slate.
2. God is not a vindictive hallway monitor who's out to get us. There's no Divine "haha, gotcha" if you forget something in confession. What God wants is sincere repentance. If you forget something in confession, do not worry about whether you are forgiven or not. God's grace is sufficient to cover all your sins, and even your forgetfulness. That said, I've heard it said you should mention the sin you forgot in your next confession.
You should ask God in prayer to help you remember your sins and sorrow over them and to give you sincere repentance. But if you "accidentally" forget something, I don't think God is going to hold it against you. Just never willfully conceal anything on your conscience during confession.
3. I had a priest that disliked lists as well, though he sometimes indulged me lol. The main reason he didn't like the lists is that he was concerned people were being "scrupulous" and not repentant - there is a difference. He was encouraging the people to see sin less as a legalistic transgressing of moral rules and regulations and more as breaking communion with/forgetfulness of/ingratitude to God (and lack of love for neighbors). I think overall he was doing a good thing by discouraging lists, as they can encourage people to take a Pharisaical approach to confession and repentance. But then again sometimes we need lists and laws as a "school master"; but our focus should always be on loving God. If we are falling short of that, we are "missing the mark", sinning.
4. You can also ask your priest in confession, "father, I am having trouble remembering my sins, can you help me?" It may also be helpful in general to talk to your priest about what he feels makes a good confession, and if he has any advice for you about this sacrament.