With Lent quickly approaching, I thought this would be a great time to break the good news. Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen. This news is going to shock you to your core. Are you ready? Here it is:
Confession is not torture.
Can you believe it?! If I’d known this sooner, my tushie would have been in that confessional years ago.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets back up and discuss some basic points so the non-Catholics out there have a better frame of reference. The Catholic church celebrates seven sacraments – Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Annointing of the Sick. Catholics are supposed to go to confession at least once a year, but most never go at all. Priests are bound by the Seal of Confession, which forbids them from revealing anything that is confessed during the sacrament, regardless of how egregious it is.
I can understand why people don’t go. I went to my required confession right before I converted to Catholicism in 2002, once right before my wedding, and then not again until 2012. Why? Because I couldn’t get over the fear of admitting my sins to a human being, who might take me to task for them. I thought that if I confessed my sins directly to God, I could avoid embarrassment. But what really happened was that I never fully took responsibility for my choices, and consequently had no motivation to change.
My husband has always been a good example to me. He started doing daily Bible readings and then so did I. He started going to confession once a month, and eventually I followed suit. It wasn’t easy to take that first step toward monthly confession, but once I did it, I realized that it wasn’t really about being embarrassed. It was about receiving God’s grace. It was about resetting my attitude so I could willingly change myself for the better. Confession is now my own personal reset button.
Now for my call to action: go to confession. Take that first step, even if you have to reward yourself with ice cream afterwards (not that I would do that…) I PROMISE you will feel so much better when you’re done. And just to make sure you don’t fall back on that old “I don’t know when confession is offered at my church” excuse, here is a link to masstimes.org. You can search by location, day of the week, and service type (mass, confession, holy days, devotions, and adorations.)
If you need some help getting started, consider downloading the free Laudate app. In addition to an examination of conscience, it includes the Catholic daily Bible readings, reflections, an interactive rosary, prayers, and links to all of the books of the Bible.
You can do this!
Linked to Catholic Bloggers Blitz 2014