Without true repentance for sin, there can be no spiritual progress. That is the first step in preparing to go to Confession. You go because you need to go, because you are a sinner, and because you wish to grow closer to God. One should put oneself into this frame of mind: you approach Confession as a humble petitioner, coming to Him who has all the graces and gifts that you so sorely need. Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith urges Catholics to enter the confessional with newfound courage, in The Catholic Herald.