The first value of self-confession of sin is not so much getting rid of an uncomfortable sense of guilt over a particular episode or series of episodes as getting at the weakness in character responsible for it or them, and then seeking to correct it. Merely to remove the sense of discomfort and to leave its moral source untouched is not enough. Any priestly rite of forgiveness is ineffective until this is done. It must produce repentance if it is to be real and that in its turn must produce penance if it is to be successful in purifying his character. The second value of the confession is to induce the sinner to make amends or restitution to those he has hurt and thus balance his karmic account with them.
-- Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 1: Uplift Character > # 449