Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
Just to read Saint James' exhortation that I should confess my sins to the friars with whom I live, or my colleagues in the VA, or my family, reminds me of how frightened I am of others.
Where did it come from? How have I even considered myself a well person when I have always been so afraid of self-disclosure?
There is no need to bear these things alone. It doesn't help and it's not necessary.
Nor should my sins alarm anyone. As the wise one said, "There was only one original sin; the rest are just cheap knock-offs." Certainly mine show no great originality.
The first friars of Saint Francis were remarkably open about their fears, failings and sins. Witnesses of the Chapter of Mats, that first great gathering of the entire Order, tell how the young ruffians, bearded, dirty, barefoot and shabby freely confessed their sins to one another. They had no shame and nothing to hide. They had set out on the way of failure with the Greatest Failure of All, the Crucified Lord. They did not hesitate to share their moral and spiritual failings with one another.
In so doing, they enjoyed the freedom of Our Savior's Resurrection. Destroyed utterly by sin, he was raised up by the inexhaustible mercy of God.