Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, March 07, 2011

As Far As East is from West

We went to Confession at our new parish two Saturdays ago. We had not gone as a family since we moved from Texas, and I had a nice stockpile of sins to lay out. During the week before we went (and I had to schedule it out on the calendar to make sure that we finally stopped planning events that conflicted with the Confession time), I fretted over my sins and scripted out further amplifications should the priest press me for clarification on anything. I was prepared, not to justify, but to elaborate and to disparage.

And when I went into the confessional and laid out my sins, the priest paused for a moment, and said, "The Lord has forgiven you." Just that.

And I was not prepared for pure, gratuitous forgiveness.


BaltoCath said...

Very nice, but I hope he didn't use that instead of the formula for Absolution :-)

MrsDarwin said...

No, it was all according to form. :) But I expected a lecture, and I received forgiveness. And a three-Hail Mary penance.

Calah said...

I love this. I will never forget my first confession at the age of 23, when I stayed up all night the night before, racking my brain, trying to remember a lifetime of sins. I literally wrote them down and brought in a sheet of notebook paper, absolutely covered in chicken-scratch sins, and read them through tears. Part of me really thought that my wonderful priest would be so horrified that he would turn me away from the Catholic Church, but he didn't. He smiled gently at me, complimented me for a confession that was concise and didn't get bogged down in minutae, and then absolved me.

I've never felt such freedom, and yet I too was sort of stunned. That's it? Shouldn't my sins deserve a good lambasting? But I'm just...forgiven?

Pretty amazing. Confession has been (aside from the Eucharist) my favorite sacrament these last three years.

Julia said...

I love this. And now I need to get out our family calendar and try to schedule confessions, too.

Kimberlee said...

This is very interesting. I'm very glad for you that your experience was a good one, but it's disturbing to read 'I expected a lecture'. Is that what some people have to endure when seeking absolution? Perhaps this is why people do not take advantage of the sacrament as much as in years past? Perhaps I should be thankful that I can say that's how confessions always are in my church - simply absolution.

mrsdarwin said...

Kimberlee, I expressed myself poorly. I've never been lectured in Confession, except for once when, apropos of nothing I'd said, the priest asked, "Do you always wear shorts to Confession?"

What I was preparing for was the possibility that the priest might ask me to elaborate or clarify what I'd done -- as if he were interested in the details of my sins! The whole episode only underlines that I really should have gone to Confession earlier instead of letting my sins gnaw at my conscience and my heart.

Kimberlee said...

Thank you for clarifying, Mrs. Darwin. I was truly horrified to think 'a lecture' was in any way the norm. I see you meant you feared an 'interrogation' of sorts.
The shorts comment was of course dreadful. I once had a priest tell me my sin was 'juvenile'. That was like twenty years ago - a person remembers such a sting.
Have a blessed Lent!