"Beware of trying to accomplish anything by force, for God has given every single person free will and desires to constrain none; he merely shows them the way, invites them and counsels them." St. Angela Merici
Why should I go to Confession?
Every time we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people and God. The Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation involves four parts: contrition, confession, penance and absolution.
Contrition: a sincere sorrow for having offended God and the most important act of the penitent. There can be no forgiveness of sin if we do not have sorrow and a firm resolve not to repeat our sin.
Confession: confronting our sins in a profound way to God by speaking about them —aloud— to a priest.
Penance: an important part of our healing is the “penance” imposed in reparation for our sins.
Absolution: the priest imparts the words which reconcile a sinner to God through the merits of the Cross.
“…the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a ‘confession’ —acknowledgment and praise— of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man” (CCC no. 1424).
Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?
As the Catechism of the Catholic Churchpoints out, our faith in the forgiveness of sins is tied to faith in the Holy Spirit and the Church: “It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them His own divine power to forgive sins: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (976; cf. John 20:22-23).
What if I’m not comfortable going face-to-face? You can receive the sacrament face-to-face or with a screen or grated window between you and the priest.
Won’t the priest remember what I said? I’m embarrassed: I don’t want him to think badly of me. The priest’s purpose is not to keep a check-list on people, but to be an instrument of Christ in receiving someone’s sorrow, bringing forgiveness and helping people move forward. A priest hears a large number of confessions. He is not there to judge the person, but rather the nature of the sin, and to offer counsel and encouragement to overcome the sin and to grow spiritually. He too goes to confession, so he knows how it feels to confront one’s own sins and ask for forgiveness. Sourced from: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments/penance/sacrament-of-penance-question-and-answer.cfm