I grew up in a lot of different churches. Some we stayed at longer than others. But there was always something missing. We could never find what it was. But then we came to the Catholic Church! We found the place God always wanted us to be!
As much as I liked the worship and the people, there was one thing I wasn't sure about-- Confession!! I didn't understand why I couldn't just pray and ask Jesus for forgiveness? I was certain that when I prayed, God heard me; He knew about all the bad things I had done; He would forgive me; so why did I have to tell my sins to some person?! How could this person tell me my sins were forgiven?
But then I found out that Jesus takes the place of the priest in confession! So you’re not confessing to a person; you are really confessing to Jesus! I learned that after His resurrection, Jesus told the apostles this:
In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you,' and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you. 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.' After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained. (John 20:19-23)
Jesus gave the apostles His authority, including the authority to pronounce forgiveness of sins. And the apostles passed that on to the men who they ordained bishops and from them to priests, all the way down to the present day. How amazing is that! And so guess who forgives you? No, not the priest! Jesus forgives always, even in confession!
So after I learned all this, I was ready for my first confession. Well, kind of. It was still kind of scary telling everything bad I had ever done in my 17 years of life to someone I had never met before! But the morning of my confession I was ready. My family and I got to the huge Basilica in Washington, DC and went to where the confessionals were. There I was sitting there waiting my turn. I was talking to my Mom. I asked her if I could be a Baptist--it’s easier. She wisely told me NO, this is where we are meant to be. (Much later, I found out that she then turned to my Dad and asked the same question; so I wasn’t the only one a little scared).
Then it was my turn to go in. I had my confession! I came out feeling amazing and free and so much forgiven! I came out feeling better than I ever had! I when through the Basilica jumping and skipping like I was four years old again!! That confession changed my life for the better. Now I know that my sins are really forgiven. I don’t lead a perfect life; I still sin. But I know that when I do, I can go to confession, tell the priest what I did, get some good advice about how to not do it again, and receive Jesus’ forgiveness.
I personally think everyone should go to confession! There is no point in letting your sins pull you down. After your confession, you don't have to feel bad anymore. Jesus has taken all your sins away! So go to confession and let your soul be free!!!