The enemy of human kind tries to keep souls away from Jesus Christ by instilling absurd fears in us such as an exaggerated worry of not being able to confess properly. Here is a passage from a letter I received from a girl:
One of my main problems is that I am not sure whether I do things in the right way: whether I confess correctly or whether I receive Communion the way I should or whether I pray well and so on… and this uncertainty makes me avoid taking Communion, praying and so forth. If I only knew that the Lord would be happy with my confession, even before starting, I would run and do it. Unfortunately, I halt in front of a God of Love, who is perhaps calling me to dedicate myself to Him but I am afraid of approaching Him. Pray for me, that the Lord will give me the courage to do what He is expecting of me!
Dear sister in Christ,
We have been in touch by email for the past few months and I am glad that during this time you have kept following the path of spirituality and of vocational discernment. You must never give up and always progress on the path of Christian perfection. Do not worry excessively about the sins you have committed because the Lord is kind and willingly forgives us when we confess with sincere contrition. Nobody is worthy to become Jesus’s bride, because He is God and we are Eve’s children and therefore sinners. When the Lord grants the gift of vocation to someone, He doesn’t choose according to that person’s merits, it is just a gift of pure love. If you are to become a sister (and I do hope you do), it won’t be because of your merits, but only because this is what Jesus wants, because He is Good.
The devil does not want you to live according to Christianity and so he tries to keep you away from Jesus by making you sad and discouraged. When people are discouraged and demoralised, the devil finds it easy to keep them away from praying and from Communion. You must not fall into this trap!
You cannot live without Jesus anymore because, if your love for him is cold, you will experience much suffering in your heart. You must love Jesus even if the world is full of distractions and temptations; this is why I hope you will enter a monastery. There, it will be easy for you to live in Christian fervour and concentrate on loving Jesus with all your heart, without being distracted by the pointless earthly things.
You must try to live Christianity with joy and stay away from unnecessary fears. You must pray every day without being afraid of “praying wrongly”, the only important thing is not to let your mind wander during prayer. It would also be good if you start a dialogue with Jesus and Mary. Yes, you can talk to them frankly, telling them your problems, your sorrows and your wishes but, most of all, telling them that you love them and that you will love them for the rest of eternity. Saint Alphonsus wrote a very nice booklet explaining how to have a dialogue with God.
Do not be afraid of Confession; the important thing is to be truly sorry for the sins one has committed, and whilst it is sufficient to confess only the mortal sins, one can also mention the venial ones. To commit a mortal sin one must have followed this path: “this thing that I am going to do is a serious sin which will certainly offend God and I am fully aware of it and I accept that I am totally responsible for it”. If you are not aware of the seriousness of the sin or you are not fully aware of your actions or if it is something which happens against your will, then you can be certain that you haven’t committed a mortal sin.
If you are not absolutely sure that one of your actions is a mortal sin, you do not need to confess it. Absolution has the power to forgive all sins, even the ones you haven’t confessed because you were sure they weren’t mortal. Anyway, if your confessor is a good clergyman, you can talk to him and tell him your doubts and what is on your conscience and he will help you to understand whether what you have done has to be considered a mortal sin, a venial one or even simply a minor worry.
The devil does not want you to take Communion, because this is the way you become one with Christ: He becomes yours and you become His. When Jesus is inside you, you must talk of love to Him, tell Him that you love Him and that you will love Him more and more because He deserves so. You must tell Him that you are prepared to offer your life to Him, that you love only Him and that you wish that everyone would love Him and that He could reign in everybody’s heart. Tell Him that you wish for all souls to be saved and that they join Him in the sky, loving Him to eternity and tell Him that you would prefer to die than commit even one single conscious sin.
Your conscience is very delicate and so, if you are not sure whether you committed a mortal sin, you should assume that you have not. People with a delicate conscience like you, do indeed know when they commit a mortal sin, they are absolutely certain about it, with no doubts whatsoever.
After you have confessed your sins, you can keep receiving Communion until you are sure you haven’t committed any mortal sin. Theologians teach us that if you are in doubt whether you committed a mortal sin or not, you can still take Communion but you should recite beforehand an act of contrition. This is a prayer with which you ask God forgiveness for all your sins, not because you would deserve a punishment, but because you have offended Him who is infinitely good and worthy of our love beyond anything else. Taking Communion will keep away all your doubts and worries but, most importantly, will keep away the temptations of the devil who wants to prevent you from taking Communion and therefore keeping you away from Jesus Christ. Taking Communion will give you strength to resist temptations, will give you more fervour in praying and will make you more charitable towards God and your fellow man.
I hope I have been of some help to you but I am always available for any further clarification.
In Jesus and Mary,