One of my favorite Dominican friars :-) wrote a short post on his blog noting three suggestions for the Year of Faith (which began yesterday): http://www.hancaquam.blogspot.com/2012/10/your-year-of-faith.html .
I've wanted to write something on 2 of these suggestions for some time, and reading his post this morning gave me the impetus to finally do so.
First suggestion: 1). Commit to making more and better use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (aka "Confession") To this suggestion I give a hearty "AMEN"!! In a previous post I wrote of my own difficulty with this sacrament. It has gotten easier. But, still, I find it challenging to approach this sacrament without some level of fear and anxiety. But I don't let that stop me. One thing that really helps is a daily examination of conscience. Another is keeping my focus on Jesus - which is a double edged sword. One the one side, as I keep my gaze focused on Him, on the Light in which I long to be enveloped, my many failings and faults and shortcomings and sins are so easily seen against the backdrop of Him. But on the other side is the enormous, unfathomable, indescribable LOVE He has for me. Just look at the Cross - look at Jesus on the Cross: there is Love beyond all attempts at description. I know, really I do, how intimidating that Love can seem. But that feeling of intimidation does not come from God.
Also, in preparing my older son for his entry into the Church (we have no religious ed available here, so I took on the job of preparing him for Baptism, First Eucharist and Sacrament of Reconciliation), somewhere between the Baltimore Catechism and his old-fashioned (ie all pictures showed kneeling to receive) Eucharist prep book, he decided of his own volition that weekly Confession was the only way to go, and always prior to receiving Eucharist. He made me think and pray, and now I, too, prefer frequent (weekly if I can get it) Confession. What I've found is that there seems to be a grace to avoid sin included in the sacrament, for when I have contritely and completely confessed it is much easier to avoid sin...at least for a day or two! So, yes, please, frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will notice a distinct difference in your spiritual life if you commit to regular use of the Sacrament.
Fr. P, in his post, noted he hears confessions daily. Would that more priests did this! My territorial parish does not offer confession times. You have to track the priest down. Neither does he preach on sin, confession, etc.... Neither is there a choice for anonymity - confession takes place in the little (maybe 8' x 8') Eucharistic chapel which contains our tabernacle. It is face-to-face ONLY, even for those of us who requested an anonymous option - this option was not rejected as much as it was ridiculed (I know, because I was the one who asked). I travel a considerable distance to receive this Sacrament, but even with all the challenges involved...IT IS WORTH IT!!
Go to confession!!
(I'll continue with his point # 2 later).