I remember learning this from my spiritual director in Austria, at which point I panicked that I would have to think of casual things to say in the middle of a very serious sacrament.
"And I'm just really struggling to believe such-and-such ..." or "It feels as though God is distant..." or anything else like that just seemed very odd for me to say. But I have learned, at least a little bit.
For the longest time, I had very strong opinions of how I wanted Confession to go. If I needed confession, I didn't want sympathy from the priest. I wanted him to be at least somewhat harsh. I had sinned, darn it! His words to me should reflect my failure! I remember a particularly kind priest who, after I unloaded my soul, was helpful and gentle and wonderful. "Why couldn't he have been meaner??" I complained to Fr. S, my spiritual director, later that week. "I didn't deserve the kindness he showed me!"
But I think that's the point of confession. That God knows what we need, and more often than not, He helps the priest to see what we need as well.
I experienced this just last night. I had been putting confession off for too long, and just really didn't want to go. It was one of those "Well, I haven't skipped Mass or committed murder, so surely I can put it off another week or two..." but then 3 weeks went by and the little things kept adding up.
"You really need to make sure that you're taking care of yourself. Go for a run. Take a walk. Have coffee with a friend on Saturday. Relax! Take time for yourself."
But you know what? I finally got it. Sometimes I don't need to hear more harsh words or scoldings. Sometimes I just need to hear a spiritual father telling me what my Heavenly Father wants me to know.
It's not all necessarily about what I do, but rather who I am as a daughter of God. Simply doing all the time until I'm too busy to stop won't get me an inch closer to Heaven. It's instead how much I allow myself to grow that will make an impact, and will then effect my life, no matter how calm or busy I am. While I may think that I "don't have time" to take a walk or get coffee with a friend, it's these times of recharging that prepare me for my next task of doing the Lord's will.
As I prepare for this homecoming weekend, complete will 3 large-scale Masses and a Eucharistic procession, I will do my best to take a little time for myself, just enjoying the day. It is peaceful union with God that father encouraged, and that my Father desires.
I not only received forgiveness of my sins last night, but the gentle nudge necessary to wake me up from my delusion.
So I'd say it was a good confession.