Many times people pose the question, “How often should I go to confession?,” and my answer to them is, “Well, as much as you need.” The Church teaches us that we should be going to confession at least once a year, but if we have mortal sins on our souls, that we should confess those as many times as we need.
We should have a good examination of conscience that we are able to reference before going to confession. An examination of conscience brings us through the 10 Commandments, and it poses questions to us of where we might have sinned. A good practice is to go to confession once or twice a month. In confession, we receive the grace that we need, again, to live the lives of holiness that the Lord calls us to. If we’ve lost that grace through mortal sin, that grace is restored.
We also recognize that venial sins are forgiven. Every time we come to Mass, every time we make that act of contrition, every time we receive the Holy Eucharist, our venial sins are forgiven. And so, the frequency of confession centers around mortal sin, and also that increase of grace that we need. We also want to be careful not to become too scrupulous. That is, to go to confession every time that we may have had a bad thought or desire.
Jesus understands that we are fallen human beings, and so he is patient with us. The Lord is so deeply in love with us that he always gives us an opportunity to begin again, and again, and again.