A comment by a Catholic in a discussion with a Protestant about faith vs. good works startled me:
Catholics would consider going to Confession to be a work. It's a specific act you need to do. We don't have any qualms about saying Christians need to do all kinds of works, except the works of the Law.
Of course confessing mortal sins are necessary for a Catholic to go back to the state of grace so they can subsequently do "good works" that are meritorious. That's not what at issue here. Secondly, although liturgy literally means "public work", I'm excluding that meaning here since "work" here seems to refer to what the Church is doing on behalf or for the benefit of the people. I'm thus not asking about the "work" done by the priests to assist a faithful's going to confession but asking whether it is considered "good work" for the penitent.
So, within the debate with Protestants on salvation, am I wrong in saying that going to the Sacrament of Confession is technically not "good works" even if it's necessary to restore the state of grace in order to do "good works" for our salvation? For this question I'm defining "good work" in the sense described by this Catholic Answers article Are Good Works Necessary for Salvation?
In my understanding of Catholicism, good works are works of love flowing out of faith and powered by grace; works that are meritorious, which God counts toward the final justification of a believer in the state of grace.
So my question is: According to Catholicism, is going to confession considered "good work" that increases one's righteousness, when considered from the angle that the sacrament merely enable us to perform works of love, the LATTER being the meritorious acts contributing to the increase of righteousness (for final justification)?