Confession has been an important part of the life of the Church from the very early days. It is for this reason that Jesus said, “Whose sins you forgiven are forgiven them…” Jn 20:23, thus establishing the sacrament. Remember, the sacrament of reconciliation is an encounter with Christ.
It is Jesus Christ, in the person of the priest, who listens to your sins and forgives you. When the priest says, ”I absolve you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..” it is Jesus who is absolving you. And you can be assured your sins are forgiven!
Certainly Jesus already knows our sins, but when we in humility confess them we reveal our contrite heart which is necessary to receive forgiveness. There is nothing you can tell the priest that he has not already heard. In addition to having our sins forgiven, we receive grace to help us overcome temptation. That’s why it is important to go to confession at least once a month. The more often we go, the more aware we are of the things we have done that offend God and others.
When we read the lives of the saints we see who important the sacrament of confession was to them. John Paul II used to go to confession every week, not because he was a great sinner, but because he longed for the encounter with Christ and needed the grace he would receive from this Sacrament of healing.
Do not be afraid, Jesus is waiting for you to confess your sins to him in this Sacrament so that he can pour out his grace and mercy upon you!