Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lemon Fresh

I went to confession at a different parish this evening. I walked in the church and wished there was a big sign that said "Sinners Line Up Here," with a big arrow and a long line, but no. Instead I had to go the back of "foyer" of the church and ask an usher-like man, "Where do I go to confession?" I was surprised that a little girl voice came out of my mouth, but I was worried that there wasn't confession happening despite what I read on the church's website. Also, I felt stupid and vulnerable.

Gratefully, the usher didn't say, "You pathetic little thing, sinful you, don't you know what's going on?" I was afraid of what he would think of me or that I'm not a practicing Catholic. I just didn't want to go to my own church because of SHAME. Honestly, you would think I was the only sinner since Adam and Eve.

Of course, the usher didn't mock or shame me. He did what a good usher man does and that was kindly walk me over to the confessional with the light system.


for the 

first time

in my


I went 

to confession 

in the little phone booth type room.

For the first time, there was a barrier between me and the priest and a kneeler. I actually knelt and spoke through this curtain and I LIKED IT.

I've always gone face-to-face previously.

So I confessed my sin.

The priest didn't just wave me off and forgive me quickly. This was NO HOLIDAY EXPRESS let's get the line moving say the Act of Contrition on your own time kind of reconciliation.

He asked some questions to get a quick picture of the situation. He gave me some good advice, spoke the truth pointing out some of the UGLY, and threw in some compassion, and we completed the sacrament.

And it was good.

I could have cried.

Why? Relief. Compassion. I believe the priest and God wanted the BEST for me as a child of God.

It is HIS JOB to point out the truth of the UGLY, but he did it kindly but directly.

Then I attended the vigil Mass knowing I was right with God again.

Since it is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we got sprinkled with holy water, so I felt extra clean.

I am all Lemon Fresh again.


Hopefully I can keep this feelin' and do a better job of staying on the straight and narrow with God's help.


Becky said...

I really like this post. You state everything so beautifully and simply at the same time.

Don't feel stupid about asking where the confessional is. At my church, for two years I didn't go because I couldn't find it. (I went to other churches instead.) It turned out it was held in the room that said "Custodian Closet."

Yep, that's my church.

Since then, a new priest arrived and he's been whipping this church back into shape. We still go to confession in the custodian closet, but now the sign reads, "Confessional".

Rebecca said...

Love this post! One of my favorite things about my new venture into spiritual direction was receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation just before Christmas - and having my spiritual director specifically ask me about things I'd mentioned in our sessions. I like the challenge of the ugly being pointed out. And I did cry when he absolved me, the kind of tears that just seep out of your eyes and you didn't even know they were coming, and couldn't stop them if you tried.

Lemony fresh :) - love it!

All in His Perfect Timing said...

In my home parish, for 18 years, I'd always gone into the little room, knelt behind the screen & confessed my sins to the priest who gives counsel & then said the Act of Contrition. It is only after I moved to a different state / more contemporary diocese did I realize how good I had it! I really like the anonymity of it, although in my head, I "just know" they know who I am. LOL You have been so brave for going face to face!
And poor Becky (above comment) with going in the "Custodian Closet." Oh my!

Lena said...

No one would think a custodian closet was a confessional.

Let's bring back little confessionals with a screen, so you don't have to worry about someone overhearing you and you can speak more freely.