Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned

It has been _____ since my last confession. I am here today because I've developed a really bad habit of ______________. I know I shouldn't do it; it is something I freely choose to do, and know I shouldn't. I'm sorry. I also [insert usual laundry list of garbage in my life]. For all these sins, I'm sorry.

Those words, or a close facsimile thereof were said by me Sunday night before mass, and I've been floating on air ever since. I don't think __________ is a mortal sin, but it certainly was putting up a barrier between me and my God. It isn't one of those impulsive sins done without thinking in an emotional state. It wasn't one of those things my personality predisposes me to do. It is something I had to deliberately choose each time I did it, and that deliberate choice of sin over God was poisoning my relationship with Him.

I have a love/hate relationship with the sacrament of reconciliation. Examining my life for areas where I've failed isn't up there on my list of favorite activities, and telling those failures to someone else is even less fun--though I've decided it is easier behind the screen--kneeling there it is more like I'm talking to God in prayer, with the priest just happening to be there, rather than actually talking to the priest. I hate the inconvenient times at which it is scheduled in my (and most) parishes (though I'm smart enough to question how much of that is excuse on my part). I love the prayer of absolution and I love the fact that that stumbling block has been removed. I'm sure the grace of the sacrament will help me avoid further temptation.

For most of my life I've gone to confession twice a year whether I needed it or not, supplemented with extra trips only if I REALLY did something I felt warrented it. Several years ago I got in the habit of attending daily mass in a parish which held cofessions before daily mass. The priest who often said mass encouraged frequent confession. I went to him; he chided me for not coming to confession more often and gave some concrete advise for refraining from sin. Part of that advise was frequent confession. I did go frequently there for a while, but schedules change and that priest moved on and let's just say it had been a while since my last confession this time.

I need to find another regular confessor. My experience Sunday was testament to the fact that the priest is but an instrument; the grace comes from God. In other words, I don't remember what counsel he gave me, but it wasn't related to what I did nor was it likely to promote growth.

5 comments:

  1. Great post. Our confessions are scheduled for Saturday at 3:00. Since I work 95% of Saturdays until 4:00, I haven't been in a looooong time. Yes, I put it off. I could make an appt, but I prefer to be as annoynmous as possible in confession. Our parish didn't have a penance service at Christmas. I REALLY need to go soon. Maybe your post will be my catalyst. Thanks.

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  2. To me, the middle of Sat. afternoon is about the most inconvenient time they could think of. Here, all the vigil masses are at 4:00 and they are generally the "old folks" mass. The elderly set go to mass and then go out to eat the early bird special and are home by 8:00 p.m. That's fine for them, but for me, getting to church for 3:00 confession usually means interruping something else--errands, kids' parties, or my nap.

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  3. the only time we have scheduled confession is Sat afternoon; just not a good time of day. We're either out having fun as a family, running to a kid's activity or doing chores around the house. I did go during Advent (when they offered some extra times) but only because Theresa INSISTED she had to go. MJ and James went with high school youth group... the rest of the family was "forgotten". I honestly prefer a good ole fashion confessional and our church doesn't have that.

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  4. I am blessed to be in a parish that has confession every night of the week and 2x on Saturdays. I also have a love hate relationship with this sacrament. And I know what you mean by finding a regular confessor. My confessor of 5 years was transferred to a parish a bit of a drive away from here. But I still try to go about every one to two months to one of my parish priests.

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  5. Sorry to be jumping in here so late but I haven't been updating my blog regularly so I just found the invitation a few days ago & this is my 1st opportunity to visit.

    I think I'd like to go to confession once a week or, at most, every two weeks. But living in a car dependent city & not being allowed to drive (health reasons not driving sins) means getting to confession when I can get to a church that has it at the right time. My parish has confession for 1/2 hour at 9.30 on Sunday mornings. My ride usually gets me to the church just in time for Mass.

    Three-ish months ago, a friend invited me to attend an Opus Dei evening of recollection. There were two priests & confession was a regular part of the program. Now, every month, I'm able to receive reconciliation at least once a month. I'm getting to know the priests & moving towards spiritual direction, I hope. That's in God's hands. The rite of reconciliation is important to me, a way to unclog the pathways between me & God & me & the Church. When I had to go w/o for long periods, I offered my desire as a sacrifice.

    Thanks for visiting my blog (http://heirsinhope.blogspot.com) & thanks for inviting me to yours. I'll try to check in as often as I can. God bless.

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