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Katy Johnes wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am married to a Catholic man and we have two beautiful children. After 21 years of marriage, I made the decision to become a Catholic. I began RCIA classes last fall and have never been happier. I feel like I have entered into a new world where I have always meant to be — I feel complete. Before Easter I have to go to Confession. This will be my first time going to Confession and I am scared. I have some awful things to confess and I am not sure what the priest will say to me.

When I was in my teens and 20's, I got myself into terrible situations. I was involved with many different guys. I believe I was looking for love. I got pregnant many times and had abortions. I feel awful and have lived with this guilt and nightmare my entire life. I have never spoken to anyone about it. The last abortion was with my husband. We both feel awful. We didn't know what the future held for us and we didn't want to bring shame into the families. This Confession is the biggest regret of my entire life.

  • What should I do?
  • Should I confess all of the abortions?

Thank you so much for any help.

Katy

  { How does a scared Catholic wannabe handle all my previous abortions in Confession? }

Eric replied:

Dear Katy,

You need not fear confession — it is a tribunal of mercy, not of condemnation.

All these things, while they must be confessed, belong to the past. God wants to extend to you, through the sacrament, graces of healing and mercy. You are not confessing anything the priest has not already heard a million times so don't feel special as if you are that unusual.

I am sure the priest will be kind with you so be strong. Just as you would not go to a doctor and hold back symptoms that are bothering you (because without knowing you he cannot effectively heal you), so you must confess all of your spiritual symptoms of sin to Jesus through the priest. Then you will be at peace about them and the Lord can begin to heal you.

I suggest that after Confession you call Rachel's Vineyard which is a post-abortion counseling service. You can reach them in the U.S. at: 877 HOPE 4 ME 877-467-3463.

Eric

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