As my daughter's due date approaches this week, her main concern before giving birth was getting to Confession. Her determination was impressive! I was also in need of Reconciliation, so last night we made our way to St. Lawrence. I haven't been in a confessional since I was in high school. In my parish it's face to face. As I stood in line trying to remember all I wanted to confess, there was a certain sin which I just did not want to say out loud. The more I tried to debate with myself on how to take the sting out, the more I felt God assuring me it was ok. Stepping into the small room, I was hoping the bright light directly above dimmed when the door closed. Of course it didn't. For an instant it felt like a scene from one of those movies where the good guy is being interrogated with a bright light shining in his face. But then the calming voice of the priest greeted me. I felt instantly at ease. The words flowed out of my mouth effortlessly. The thing is, as much as we feel remorse for poor choices, our beautiful priests aren't hearing anything they haven't heard before.
After last night, I couldn't help but chuckle at the timing of today’s first reading (Is 50: 4-9a). I must practice setting my face like flint. Not always easy to do, though so necessary as a Christian.
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong?
In Anne a lay apostle's book, Climbing the Mountain, she shows us the importance of Confession:
"The fourth duty of the lay apostle is monthly Confession. This used to be the old pastoral rule of thumb. When you asked a priest, “Look, I’m serious about Christian holiness. How often should I go to Confession?” the standard spiritual advice was, “About once a month.” Why? Does that mean we fall in to mortal sin once a month? No, not necessarily. It means we want to meet the Divine Physician once a month. We want to enter what St. Augustine called “the medicine box” once a month and be healed. And at least once a month, we want to get graces specifically to assist us in our particular areas of sin and weakness. Maybe it’s regarding the sins we’ve been battling for the last 20 to 30 years—we’ve all got types of sins that seem to hang on to us, habits of sin that are so difficult to break. That’s what the grace of the confessional is for. Not only are your sins forgiven, but you get graces that are specific to overcoming your particular sins. That is why there is a monthly sacramental call for this extraordinary opportunity of reconciling and healing grace."
Thank you, Lord, for leading me to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I always feel 10 pounds lighter with a clean slate!