It has been _____ since my last confession. I am here today because I've developed a really bad habit of ______________. I know I shouldn't do it; it is something I freely choose to do, and know I shouldn't. I'm sorry. I also [insert usual laundry list of garbage in my life]. For all these sins, I'm sorry.
Those words, or a close facsimile thereof were said by me Sunday night before mass, and I've been floating on air ever since. I don't think __________ is a mortal sin, but it certainly was putting up a barrier between me and my God. It isn't one of those impulsive sins done without thinking in an emotional state. It wasn't one of those things my personality predisposes me to do. It is something I had to deliberately choose each time I did it, and that deliberate choice of sin over God was poisoning my relationship with Him.
I have a love/hate relationship with the sacrament of reconciliation. Examining my life for areas where I've failed isn't up there on my list of favorite activities, and telling those failures to someone else is even less fun--though I've decided it is easier behind the screen--kneeling there it is more like I'm talking to God in prayer, with the priest just happening to be there, rather than actually talking to the priest. I hate the inconvenient times at which it is scheduled in my (and most) parishes (though I'm smart enough to question how much of that is excuse on my part). I love the prayer of absolution and I love the fact that that stumbling block has been removed. I'm sure the grace of the sacrament will help me avoid further temptation.
For most of my life I've gone to confession twice a year whether I needed it or not, supplemented with extra trips only if I REALLY did something I felt warrented it. Several years ago I got in the habit of attending daily mass in a parish which held cofessions before daily mass. The priest who often said mass encouraged frequent confession. I went to him; he chided me for not coming to confession more often and gave some concrete advise for refraining from sin. Part of that advise was frequent confession. I did go frequently there for a while, but schedules change and that priest moved on and let's just say it had been a while since my last confession this time.
I need to find another regular confessor. My experience Sunday was testament to the fact that the priest is but an instrument; the grace comes from God. In other words, I don't remember what counsel he gave me, but it wasn't related to what I did nor was it likely to promote growth.