Monday, February 21, 2005


Instead of RCIA tonight, we had church-wide Rite of Reconciliation. Several priests came in from other parishes. I didn't attend because I had snuck in Saturday before our Rite of Sending service and took care of my first confession. I was both more nervous than I needed to be, and less eloquent than I could have been. I had gone through several guides (here and here, for example) and chosen the top things I thought were in my path, blocking me and also mentioned the less important, nagging sinfulness of my common life. I wrote everything down, from the opening "Forgive me Father for I have sinned" to the closing act of contrition. I chose to sit face to face, rather than kneel behind the curtain.

Since I see Confession as similar to going to the Doctor, I thought sure our priest would start poking and prodding my sins, digging for deeper causes and bringing painful things from my past to bright light . . . but he didn't. He asked if I had missed anything, perhaps in the lying, cheating or stealing categories, and I confessed that I'm sure I had done my share of all of those, but not so much.

And he forgave it all.

I didn't feel any great weight lifted, as some say they have. Of course, I've sought forgiveness through prayer for all these things before, but only between myself and God. This was different. Father was gentle. I went immediately to pay my penance in the chapel, kneeling before the Tabernacle to say my Hail Marys, Our Fathers and Glory Be's. I was sin free for my Rite of Sending and all the way until this evening when I swore at a bench I was trying to put together (the manufacturer had not drilled one of the holes they were supposed to have pre-drilled & I had to do it myself... which is no reason to swear).

Next time (our priest recommends going at least four times a year) I will be sure to add impatience along with my other sins.

While we're talking about Reconciliation, Danielle Bean has a post on Confession as well.

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