Thursday, July 2, 2009
I was reading an old friend's blog, and he was talking about the verse Psalm 26:2 where David is asking God to examine his heart and mind. He was encouraging all of his readers to really examine themselves and figure out how to best serve God and get rid of all the clutter that's distracting us from that. This is one of the reasons why I so love going to confession as a Catholic. I was not raised Catholic. I was raised in a good old-fashioned Southern Baptist church, where Catholics were considered something of a cult. In fact, I even had a Sunday school lesson where we learned all about how Catholics aren't really Christians. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Trent and I both became Catholic after we were married. But that's a topic for another day. One of the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, aka confession. I don't do this nearly as often as I should (do you know how hard it is to get in that little confessional with a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old??) but each time it makes me feel so close to God. It gives me a chance to really examine my consience over the last days or weeks (or months if it's been a while) and see all the sin that I've committed. I certainly don't confess every single little sin I've committed (I'd never leave!), but I spend the most time on the sins that I continually struggle with. Then, the Church teaches that when you're in the confessional, the priest is acting in persona Christe. I might be spelling that wrong, but what it means is that as long as what the priest is saying is in line with the Bible and the teachings of the Church (I've heard of times where this hasn't been the case), it's like God Himself is talking to you. God Himself is talking to me. Do you know how amazing that is?? I can go to confession and get spiritual direction from God Himself. Not only that, but it's much more humbling to go to confession, to a priest who knows you and whom you see in mass every week, and tell him all the things you've done wrong. It's downright embarrassing sometimes. But it's so good for the soul. Besides, why does it matter if it's embarrassing to us? We're doing what God wants us to do: confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. It's a matter of accountability. It's fairly easy to examine our consciences at home and sit in our rooms and say, "Okay God, here's what I've done wrong. Please forgive me." It's much harder to go to the church and say it out loud to another person. I think I need to get to confession.