Recently, I have been trying to correct mistakes I have made in my life; and I know I have some sins to confess. I am a 19 year old male, a recent convert into Coptic Orthodoxy. I have confessed in the past, but feel very scared to confess again; because I feel I have done many bad sins and I am afraid of my father of confession's reaction. I think I may even need to confess something that I have done before my baptism. Can Your Grace give me some advice to overcome this fear and confess? Does Your Grace recommend any books?
Confessing should not be a cause of fear or worry; but a means of relief from the burden of our sins. Your confessor father is called so because he is a father and you are his child. He looks at you as a son in need of help, comfort, advice and absolution. Therefore, the priest is there to help, not to condemn you. Do not think that you are the only sinner in the world; everyone who goes for confession is a sinner too and the priest hears so many confessions of a wide variety of sins. He does not judge the person; on the contrary, he tries to lead him to the right path, gives advice on how to hold on to God and more importantly he prays for and with the repentant.
A good book to read about confession is "How Can I Benefit From Confession" by H.G. Bishop Matthaus, or at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/7261/Confession.htm.