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7 things I relearned about Confession today

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I apologize ahead of time: This is not an exhaustive theological tome on the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Catholic sacramental confession).

It is, rather, an honest look at the Sacrament of God's Mercy, and healing, from the perspective of an imperfect sinner.

It is, moreover, an attempt at honesty, even if the only One left without pie on his face is God.

Here are 7 lessons relearned:

1) For as much as I'd like to hide it, my sins are repetitive. As much as I complain that nothing changes in this world for the better, sadly, I have to include myself. This reveals a lot about me, much which a trained psychologist could have a large picnic with! But the basic message for me is this: I am deeply broken, with deeply formed wounds, and my coping mechanisms, the unhealthy ones, have much too deep a hold on me.

2) Obviously, the Holy Spirit hasn't given up on me. For my conscience still works, even if its circuitry is somewhat cooked, and overwrought with a ton of sinful viruses. Through my numb and dumb conscience, barely awake to God's 'still small voice,' the Holy Spirit inspires me to repent, and to run, fast, to the Merciful Father.

3) There are still good priests! They have to be...since they put up with me with patience, compassion, and wisdom.

4) Even if this is not a testimony to real Catholic spiritual maturity, it is better to be honest. For I still do, in a small way, see confession as a 'get out of jail free card.' Honestly, my contrition is not fully inspired by the Love of God alone. I'm still struggling with anger, impatience, envy, lust, jealousy, covetousness, and even a dash of righteous indignation (though this would make up about 2% of my struggle). I know that God is Mercy and Love in my heart of hearts--and with a Master's in Theology, my mind understands this intellectually. But me, in the me of weakness, and the me in underemployment and frustration, always seeks for a sign of God's Love which I can touch...

5) Confession always brightens the prospect of Eucharistic Communion. For I want more of that Heavenly Person, the One who forgives me even when I'm imperfectly contrite. I need more of Him, moreover, because I need less of me, and because I can't find peace in many of the people around me.

6) On that confessional line, I stand with every kind of person. Young, old, male, female, black, brown, white, asian, poor, rich, fancy, messy, loud, quiet--all sinners in need of a Savior! This, I find, is a strange, but comforting, solidarity.

7) When I leave, I feel an inner peace (amongst the continuing imperfect chatter of a semi-crazy mind!) which the world cannot give. For that, for what might just be the seed of thanksgiving, and a pinch of Love, I keep coming back.

Peace in Christ. Thoughts?



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