I have a confession to make. It’s been two years since my last confession. I used to attend monthly mornings of reflection where confession was part of the program. When those ended, I began going to evenings of reflection at a local church. Again, confession was offered. But then life got in the way, and it was no longer convenient for me to attend. Then we moved. Somehow, there was always a reason I couldn’t get to the confession on Saturday morning.
I didn’t feel good about that as the months passed. I missed going to confession. But I also dreaded the thought of going back after so much time had elapsed. Last week, I decided: I was going to go to confession on Saturday morning. It wasn’t convenient, and I felt the way I feel about an upcoming dentist appointment – but I was going. And I went.
While I was waiting my turn, I began to have a sense of anticipation instead of dread. The actual experience was over quickly – this particular priest offered no commentary or counsel, just gave the absolution and told me to say one Our Father (just one?). After some quiet moments, I went out into my day with a renewed sense of peace and hope, feeling ready to spread some joy and faith to my little corner of the world.
I may still be tempted to avoid going to confession, but I don’t intend to neglect this sacrament again. How about you? Have you struggled with confession? Or has confession been a blessing to you?
Photo courtesy of Frank Jasper, OFM