Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return,
Confession. That practice of walking into a little room with a priest, whom you may or may not know, and spilling your guts to him. That laundry list of should have nots or should have but didn't. To many it seems ridiculous that one can not simply that their contrition to the Big Guy themselves. What is the deal with the middle man?
Here are my thoughts on the beauty and blessing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from my Confession Chicken Converted heart!
Petrified. That is the best word to describe how I approached Confession as a 2nd grader before First Communion, as a teen before Confirmation, as a young adult before my wedding, and as slightly more mature adult following my reversion back to the Catholic Church -- and every other time in between. Heart raced, palms sweat, throat closed, and FEET wanted to sprint out the door, if I even managed to get myself INTO the door (I was the queen of excuses for confession procrastination). I hated every moment of it - until first, Jesus made me laugh and second, I allowed the Holy Spirit to teach my heart what was really happening in that little box with that middle man! #MindBlown
First, the laugh
It was just a week or two into attending our new parish. I was super excited for confession that weekend - not that I wasn't still chicken (because I was) but I found it less frightening with a Priest who did not know me - anonymity was my reconciliation friend!! I was first in line, one of my tricks for beating the fear, and after closing the door behind me in the tiny old fashion (kneeling, screen only option) confessional jumped right into my , "forgive me Father, it has been # long since my last confession, and here are my sins". I managed to stammer a few out when he interjected, "excuse me are you the woman who has come to start the new youth group." ....crap. I was. now what.
I felt like I had 2 options .. YES options. One, I could lie, and then start back my confession with, "I lied one time just now to you," or I could go the more sensible route, own up to the fact I have a very recognizable voice (I refuse to believe those screens don't actually hide my identity), and get on with it. However, that is not what happened. After I admitted to being the new youth group leader, he went into a 10 minute soliloquy on all fun and exiting ideas he had for us to explore. I finally got up the courage to interrupt and ask if we could return to the confession. He readily agreed and I continued with my list (I am a list person and often bring it into the confessional with me, now there are Apps for that!)
Anyway...now I have been in there for a good 15-20 minutes, and it is a Saturday, so there were probably people waiting. I thanked Father for his time, reached for the door, opened the door, made eye contact with some of the now 10 or so people waiting and I hear, "Oh, One more thing." WHAT, WAIT... WHAT?? Is he really calling me back in -- to confession? Unsure what to do, I sheepishly close the door and kneel back down. I am FAIRLY sure half of those people sitting here bolted for the door, I mean really WHO GETS called back into confession!!! The other half all had to add to their sin list - and I judged one time that lady that just got recalled to the confessional!!"
This sweet eager Priest wanted to tell me all about the marriage retreat he offered and thought my husband and I would enjoy!! Finally, after another 10 minutes, I was free to go and pray my penance. First, I double checked that there was no back way or trap door Father could drop me through instead of face those people waiting for their turn with Father. I have to admit the line was considerably shorter than when I first opened the door - maybe because confession time was running short but I would not doubt if some ran off in fear! If you are already a Confession Chicken, it really doesn't take much to get you to bolt!
I knelt before Jesus in the Eucharist, as Confession and Adoration took place at the same time in this particular parish, and burst into laughter. Anyone looking at me from their pew must have thought I was over come with grief or agony, as my shoulders shuddered in an attempt to muffle my giggles. I looked up at the Monstrance, at Jesus ... and in that instance was overcome with an understanding I had never grasped before. That time in Reconciliation is an encounter with Christ - the real Christ, and he obviously has an incredible sense of humor!!
Tomorrow...I will share the incredibly lessons regarding the Gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation taught to me by the Holy Spirit and validated in the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Church. #MindBlownAgain
All rights reserved by Allison Gingras, 2015