But why, you will ask, are there different religious orders? In the first place, all persons are not fitted for the same kind of work: some can teach, others cannot; some can bear the fatigue of nursing the sick, and others cannot. Secondly, when Our Lord was on earth He performed every good work and practiced every virtue perfectly. He fasted, prayed, helped the needy, comforted the sorrowful, healed the sick, taught the ignorant, defended the oppressed, admonished sinners, etc. It would be impossible for any one community to imitate Our Lord in all His works, so each community takes one or more particular works of Our Lord, and tries to imitate Him as perfectly as possible in these at least. Some communities devote their time to prayer; others attend the sick; others teach, etc.; and thus when all unite their different works the combined result is a more perfect imitation of Our Lord’s life upon earth.
224 Q. What should we do on entering the confessional? A. On entering the confessional we should kneel, make the Sign of the Cross, and say to the priest: “Bless me, Father”; then add, “I confess to Almighty God, and to you, Father, that I have sinned.”
225 Q. Which are the first things we should tell the priest in confession? A. The first things we should tell the priest in confession are the, time of our last confession and whether we said the penance and went to Holy Communion.
226 Q. After telling the time of our last confession and Communion, what should we do? A. After telling the time of our last confession and Communion we should confess all the mortal sins we have since committed, and all the venial sins we may wish to mention.
“We may wish.” We should tell every real sin we have never confessed. If we have no mortal sin to confess, it is well to tell some kind of mortal sin we have committed in our past life, though confessed before. We should do this because when we have only very small sins to confess there is always danger that we may not be truly sorry for them, and without sorrow there is no forgiveness. But when we add to our confession some mortal sin that we know we are sorry for, then our sorrow extends to all our sins, and makes us certain that our confession is a good one. If you should hear the sin of another person while you are waiting to make your own confession, you must keep that sin secret forever. If the person in the confessional is speaking too loud, you should move away so as not to hear; and if you cannot move, hold your hands on your ears so that you may not hear what is being said.
227 Q. What must we do when the confessor asks us questions? A. When the confessor asks us questions, we must answer them truthfully and clearly.
228 Q. What should we do after telling our sins? A. After telling our sins we should listen with attention to the advice which the confessor may think proper to give.