Is it C already? Yesterday we knocked out B is for Bible. Did you share your favorite bible guy?
Today we will briefly discuss Confession. Oooooh. It’s not as sordid as you think. And those Hollywood images of dark rooms of shame with priests hidden behind screens? Get them outta your head. Doesn’t happen anymore.
Unless of course the church fails to pay it’s light bill?? I digress…
What is it?
Confession is also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or the Sacrament of Penance. We won’t get into what a Sacrament is, because then today would be letters C and S and it’s not that! We’re being brief, remember? But let’s just take a second to highlight just how interconnected the Catholic faith is. It’s hard to compartmentalize the Catholic faith, because one thing comes from another and is handed down from Jesus to the Apostles and so on. See? Easy to go off on a tangent.
Confession. As Catholics, we speak with priests privately during church scheduled times, and by appointment, to confess our sins. We confess because, in that way we prepare ourselves to receive the Eucharist (or Communion). There’s that interconnected thing again. A Catholic who has committed mortal sin has to seek God’s forgiveness in this sacrament asap! According to The Bishops of Pennsylvania in “A Guide to the Sacrament of Penance”
Confession is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy. It is here that we meet the loving Jesus who offers sinners forgiveness for offenses committed against God and neighbor. At the same time, Confession permits sinners to reconcile with the Church which is also wounded by our sins.
Here’s a list of 10 Benefits of Confession, written by Sister Mary Ann Walsh. Her first reason knocks it out of the park for me:
1. Confidentiality guaranteed. There’s nothing like confessing your sins to someone guaranteed not to tell anyone else. Sometimes you need to talk in absolute confidence. Even under subpoena, a priest can’t tell anyone what’s said to him in confession. He can’t even hint at it. Now that’s confidentiality.
Why did I choose to share this particular “C” with you?
There was a time where I was feeling quite low. I didn’t know why, or where it came from. I sort of still don’t. I went to confession because my son was going, he’s 9. He wanted to confess something he felt badly about. I just went in there to talk. I just plopped in there, looked at the priest face to face, (in a well lit room) and said “You ready, Father?” After all was said and done, you know what he said? “Me too, Cristina. I feel the same way” Then he offered some suggestions and books to read and absolved me.
Here was this humble priest, acting in persona Christi, empathizing with me. He felt the same way I did and he shared that with me. It was a connection I wasn’t expecting, but shouldn’t I have? God in Persona Christi, at that moment, was with me and told me, “Yes, me too”. Why wouldn’t I go to confession?!? Here’s a very famous painting by Rembrandt for your take-home goodie bag.
Pope Francis just gave a talk (we call this particular talk Catechesis, because it’s a Catholic teaching). This one in particular is in preparation for those making Sacrament of Baptism or Confirmation). If Pope Francis is talking about it, you know I have to.
Come back tomorrow for one of my favorite letters in the alphabet, D. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same.
Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.