small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

forgiveness

on April 7, 2011

Small thing for yesterday: going to confession


I know. It sounds crazy but let me explain.

Confession for me has always been a scary and infrequent practice in my life. And all of that is because I didn’t understand it. Confession is often portrayed as someone going into a tiny claustrophobic room with some old boring priest who sits there looking bored waiting to say his prescribed words and the person walks out not looking or acting much different. Why is something like that important, or even necessary? This was a question I have often asked, as well as been asked, many times. After today I was reminded why its so important.

My new awesome friend here invited me to a gathering of women who read the gospel for the day and discuss it’s implications for our lives. After that a priest comes over to hear confessions. Of course I was looking for the nearest exit, waiting for my friend to say she already went yesterday and needed to get home. As if on cue she nodded towards the door and we started walking out, but then she said, “let’s just go downstairs for a minute and say hi.”  I was thinking to myself, um, we already saw everyone upstairs, we’re going into a basement…but then as we walked down the stairs I saw a beautiful chapel set up, in the basement. Chairs, altar, tabernacle, the whole shebang. So of course I’m ok with hanging out with Jesus for a little before we actually leave. But then then it happened…I saw a door open and realized there is a priest hearing confessions. She tricked me!!

I looked around and we were the only two people there, and she quickly went into the confessional, telling me I could go after here. Ah, I was TRAPPED. So I knelt down, praying, telling God I was already sorry for everything I had done and couldn’t that just be enough, can we be cool without me talking to the guy with a collar in the probably scary room a few feet away?

And here is where the necessity of confession comes in…

I walked into the room and started telling the priest how long it had been since I’d fessed up to my wrongdoings and then the laundry list began. As I started listing off the big and little things I did that hurt my friends, family, strangers, and of course God, I started to see how much I didn’t like those things. It was easy for me to ignore all those things without listing them out loud. They became REAL when I was telling this holy man. The priest was awesome and even laughed with me as I described my craziness. He then gave me some wonderful advice about how to fix some of the things I was struggling with. Then he absolved me of those sins. Ok, HE didn’t, but acting in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) I had truly been forgiven. God, the Divine Psychologist, knows that we need to physically say our sins to someone and physically be told we are forgiven by someone, so that our human self can feel that power of God’s forgiveness. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to want to have to tell a priest again about some of those things…so maybe I will try really hard not to do them!

I seriously was glowing after I left.

Thank you, good friend, for knowing I needed that yesterday.

I thought about asking all of you what is a sin you’d like to confess, but then I thought that’s probably not the best plan. 😉

When have you felt the power of forgiveness?

 

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3 responses to “forgiveness

  1. Marriage. Oh Marriage. Immediately all the yucky pettiness that marriage brings out in me springs to mind…and I am so very grateful for forgiveness, washing all away and leaving the beauty of love behind.

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  2. Bernadette Kaplan says:

    I heard confession explained in this same way on Catholic radio today! I too am often questioned about why we need to go to a priest to confess our sins. It is a hard concept to understand. To all those who doubt, “Try it , you’ll like it!” It is a beautiful gift from our loving Father! Thanks for sharing your experience Kari!

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  3. […] he isn’t one to openly share his emotions. That is the power of confession. See my post about forgiveness for my experience […]

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