General confession was a practice of recalling, ordering, and telling one's entire life to a spiritual director. Unlike sacramental confession, general confession was not a sacrament and it could be reported to a mother superior as well as to a priest. In promoting general confession, religious orders in late medieval and early modern Europe enhanced techniques of life-telling and life-writing among believers. These believers were almost always people of the church. The practice later became obligatory among some religious orders, and was included in Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. Following him, it became a standard technique of making sense of one's life.
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