“Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession.” ~ Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
Last night at our parish, we had our Lenten Penance Service. There were eight priests available and they heard confessions for at least an hour. Some of us heard a bit longer. I was the last one out of “the box” and I had heard for an hour and a half. In one sense, that is a bit tiring. In another sense, that is a great joy because many people had a chance to clear out the clutter from their souls and begin fresh and anew.
There are many non-Catholics (as well as Catholics) who do not “get” the need for confession. They feel that they can go directly to God, cutting out the middle-man. Yes, one can always tell God that one is sorry. However, there are a couple of things to remember. First of all, Catholics believe that Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Confession when He gave the Apostles the authority to forgive sins. Oh, he did not tell them to build a box, put in a screen, and all of that. However, He did give them the authority to forgive sins, the very basis of confession. Second, there is something quite comforting when a person hears another person say, “I absolve you from your sins.”
When we go to confession, we are brighter and clearer. We receive so many graces in the sacrament that they help us in our daily struggle against temptation and sin. God is so incredibly good to us in giving us that aid. That is why I do not understand why more people do not avail themselves the opportunity to go to confession. Why not go and receive grace in order to fight the good fight?
Before confessions last night, I went to confession as well. I generally do before our penance services (as well as other times throughout the year). In going to confession, I come into contact with the soul who yearns for forgiveness and, I believe, that gives me an opportunity to understand better those who are coming to confess. That is one of the wonders of the sacrament: two sinners, together, discover and celebrate the mercy of God.
Do not let fear or embarrassment keep you away from the sacrament. Take the opportunity to sweep out your soul, leaving it clean and uncluttered, so that you may have a better chance to see more clearly what God is calling you to do.
FAITH ACTION: If you have not already done so, make a plan to go to confession before Easter so that you may be that much more prepared spiritually to celebrate the resurrection.