"God the father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son…"
Kneeling in the creaky confessional, I realized that this moment is my favorite moment in all the world. And that those words are the most beautiful I have ever heard.
Confession, for me, is always super uncomfortable. Do you ever kinda get annoyed with yourself 'cause it seems like confess the same stupid stuff each time you go?
Yeah. Me too.
It's tough going to the same priest for the same things each time. It's almost as tough going to a total stranger and wondering a little in the back of your mind what kind of first impression you're giving.
Once, I went to a completely different parish for confession, just because. And the priest there did something that made me suddenly understand the sacrament.
During absolution, instead of holding his hand up in blessing like other priests, he held up his stole, which had a cross on it.
It was a powerful symbol.
The stole is the symbol of priestly authority. They wear it during the celebration of the sacraments… basically any time they are acting in persona Christi.
It's often easy to lose track of the profound and awesome fact that a priest literally becomes Christ during the Mass and confession.
Yeah, that looks like Fr. Jacob up on the altar, that sounds like Fr. Frank in the confessional…. but it's Jesus. Same as the Eucharist looks and tastes like bread… but it's Jesus.
Every time I'm nervous about confession, it's because I think I'm gonna go talk to a priest.
But I'm not, really.
I'm gonna go talk to Jesus.
Jesus! Wrap your head around it, if you can. Literally… Jesus!! The man who wandered the deserts of Israel and who died on the cross is in that confessional, waiting for you to come in, close the door, and talk.
People ask us as Catholics: "Why do you confess your sins to a priest? Why not just tell God you're sorry?"
That's exactly what we do. Christ gave his apostles authority to act in his name, in his person, and they have handed down that authority through the ages. Only God can forgive sins, and in the confessional, during those words of absolution, He is the one forgiving you.
As I write this, we're about halfway through Lent. It's a time of prayer and penitence and drawing closer to God.
How long has it been since your last confession? Might be a good idea to go.
There's nothing to be afraid of – the God who was whipped and beaten and spat on and pierced for you will welcome you with open arms. That's how he died, after all.
How long has it been since last you sat and spoke with your Redeemer, since last you sat and spoke with Christ?
What are some of your best (or worst!) experiences with Confession? Share them below in the comments! And, as always, if you like this post, please share it with others and sign up for free updates at the top right of this page!