I walk out of Church after confession today feeling brand new. My sins are wiped clean. I turn over a new leaf, begin fresh, stop worrying about the misdeeds of the past and focus on the the moment I am in, more prepared for the challenges of the future.
It’s hard to believe more Catholics don’t take advantage of this opportunity to have our sins, shortcomings and bugaboos cleansed with the full backing of the Catholic Church and saints.
Here is a chance to take everything that’s weighing on our souls and offer it all up to God.
And reconciliation can be more than just recounting our sins, asking for forgiveness, and performing penance the priest assigns. It can be a time to seek counsel from the priest, to receive guidance from a holy man who understands the nature of the soul.
Some worry that the priest may judge them or that it may not look good that they keep returning to confess the same sins. But any good priest will tell you that it is normal for us to have the same sins reoccurring, and that the priest is not there to judge but to deliver the forgiveness of God and assign our penance. One priest told me that even the holiest of men sins seven times a day. We are all sinners, that is why we need Christ.
And for those who may be a little shy about confessing their deepest, darkest secrets to another, there is the option of sitting behind a screen to further enhance anonymity. Whether behind the screen or eye-to-eye with the priest, there is something freeing in the very act of venting our sins and troubles, airing them so that they are no longer trapped within us but set free, and then cleansed away with the power of a Sacrament.
Recently the Confession App for iPhone and iPod Touch brought this potent Sacrament of Penance into the 21st century mindset, but let us not forget that the we don’t need a hand held device to reap the full benefits of confession. We merely need a bit of courage to enter the confessional and an honest heart to confess our sins and free ourselves to experience the joy of Christianity.
And with Lent drawing near, there’s no better time to wipe the slate clean and start anew.