We never practiced confession growing up. You did something wrong–you go straight to God. It wasn’t a Sacrament in my home, because we weren’t Catholic–yet.
The closest anyone got to reconciliation was a quick “sorry” and that would be the end of it. Whenever we heard the words, many times it didn’t seem genuine. We would say the words, but never admit what we were sorry for.
So, Reconciliation wasn’t part of my family vocabulary. Even after our conversion to Catholicism, Reconciliation was an afterthought. After all, we accepted it, but we still fought with our Protestant way of thinking.
The Game Changer
All that changed for me a few years ago. While re-learning the faith I entered, I decided to randomly pick up, 7 Secrets of Confession by Vinny Flynn. This once dreaded Sacrament became the one I love, and only second to the Eucharist.
In my earlier way of thinking, you went into a closet and tell a man your deepest darkest secrets. A person who you don’t know, will know more about you than anyone else. That you wouldn’t be seen as a great person but a deeply flawed person.
I have come to recognize that in that tiny box is a place of healing. A doctor for my soul. That man, is the ear of Christ, and he is there to doctor me.
I had to give up my earlier notions that I wouldn’t be seen as perfect, as I like, and confessing my failings is what I needed to be closer to Him.
[Tweet “Reconcilliation reminds me to see myself as I truly am. Warts and all.”]
The peace that I was looking for came with these words, “you are absolved from your sins.” Even the sins that I felt were to big for forgiveness, I’m told I am.
True Healing Begins
That is where the love and the healing begins. While I am sorry for sins, I know there is no turning back time. This Sacrament offers a way to move forward.
I go to Confession, often, not because I fear hell (let’s be honest, that is a scary place to even think about), but I go to confession because I’m truly upset that I offended our Lord.
[Tweet “I go to confession because I’m truly upset that I offended our Lord.”]
I see God as a loving Father. Who only wants the best for His children. No different that What I would like for my children. He gave me rules to live by–rules he offered in love. When I break those guidelines, I know that I’ve disappointed Him. I want to say sorry to Him as quickly that I can, and truly vow to not commit the same sin twice. Somehow, on top of all that, I want to show him that I was truly sorry.
Instead of seeing the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a torture chamber, I now see it as place that offers the love and healing that we all need. It’s my private appointment with my spiritual doctor.
It’s the one place that reminds me that God sees me as I truly am. Not because He needs it, but I do.
So, growing up, the words, “I’m sorry” didn’t carry much weight for me. They were empty words, from where I stood. This beautiful sacrament showed me that it’s not just enough to say sorry. It taught me the meaning of a heartfelt apology. How our actions can offend, even hurt the relationships in our lives. Reconciliation taught me that relationships have to be mended. Finally, we have to try everything within our power to not destroy the relationship again.
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