(quote) Virginia-1026653 said: Until recent years, I pretty much dreaded going to confession. This is kind of humiliating to admit, but I couldn't think of any sins! (OK, so I know now that that in itself was a sin of pride.) I was almost ready to commit a sin just so I would have something to say. Then a few years back, I attended a series of Catechisis which really focused on getting in touch with the Holy Spirit. It must have worked, because shortly after that I found myself waiting in line for confession, trying to eek a few sins out of my memory, when suddenly I experienced an enlightenment of conscience. Looking back on my "sinless" life, I now saw a trail of sin and destruction. When I started spewing my sins out to the priest he recognized what had happened, and just said, OK, OK, now you are starting out anew.
My purpose here is really to encourage You to go to confession. Some people have had good and bad experiences. I would credit the good to the sacrament itself. I'd be willing to bet that the devil is behind the bad ones. It is a tragedy (except to the devil) when someone leaves the Church due to a bad experience in confession. (I personally have never had a bad experience, so don't get the impression that this is a common occurrence.) One person I talked to about confession went after three years. She thought the priest was going to yell at her a little bit, but instead he said, "Welcome Home!"
I have one funny story to share about a woman who went to confession with her family, and everyone got a penance like a few Hail Mary's, and she got "The Rosary!" So while the whole family is waiting patiently for her to finish her penance, her young son looked at her wide-eyed and said..."WHAT did you DO?"
I would like to hear from some people that have a love for confession, and also, what holds you back? How do you feel deep inside when confession is mentioned? Do you know you should go? I think it is good to encourage each other.
The devil told St. John Viannay that if there were three men like him in the world, he, the devil, would have no power! This saint heard confessions for entire days. Even though he was located in a remote village, the power of his work drew so many people to travel there, that they had to build a railroad. Every person who walks a round with sin on their soul has to some degree separated themselves from God. This gives the devil a foothold. It is a direct attack on the devil when you take away your cooperation with his plans.
If you make a resolution to go to confession after reading this forum, would you please "like" this post? It is feedback that I need for a workshop I am participating in.
Thanks. I hope to hear from lots of you, either way.
I love confession!!! I think it is perhaps the most beautiful gift to us (aside from the Eucharist). imperfect humans. I did not always love confession.
When I was sixteen, I got home from school one evening and my mom was waiting for me as it was the night for the penitential service. I indignantly objected -- luckily I did not lie and say I had gone at school (went to Catholic high school). She said in no uncertain terms I would be attending. I was so angry with her, I actually started crying. Which was actually very out of character for me, i was the kid who did whatever I was told. Guess I was feeling my teenage rebellion or something.
Anyway, she drags me up there, me in tears and really unhappy and then she leaves me at the back of the church and went to a line up front. I stayed in the back of the church with the cold copper door at my back knowing I could just slip outside and not do it. But, I inched forward as each person left. And, they were all looking at me, crying and with my arms crossed in all my teenage huffiness. When it came time for my turn, we could go behind the screen or face to face, but there was no way I was going face to face, so I dropped down on the kneeler so hard it echoed lol. Then before Father could say much of anything I burst out with probably the best confession I ever went to, starting with a rant about my mother lol. . .I came out of there with most exquisite sense of peace and of being loved. I think that was the day I actually fell in love with confession and realized not only is it the most beautiful gift to us as imperfect humans, but that the graces we receive truly settle and strengthen our soul.
I can't remember in recent memory anyway ever leaving the confessional without that overwhelming sense of peace and joy and love and even brightness and cleanliness. . . such a beautiful gift.
I've mentioned elsewhere that we would take the youth (middle school and high school) over to church, give them an examen, some paper and a pencil, put on some contemplative music and let them spend about twenty or thirty minutes in prayer and thought, writing either a letter or a list to God about what they had failed in. They could then read that letter or list to the priest or just speak from it. At the end of the penitential rite we would burn their lists.
I have done this as well on my own for my own confession.
When my son hit about that same lovely teen age, he balked about going as well sometimes. I told him, I could not force him into the confessional, but he would go and participate and be with his family. He always ended up going in to confession of his own accord. He recently thanked me for that. When he went off to the Marine Corps he fell away. A large part of his had to do with being at war and he said to me more than once, Mom, not even God can forgive the things I have had to do. I prayed and prayed for him. And, about three years ago, after a really bad day at work on base at Cherry Point and right after the hurricane that hit there, he changed into civies and headed to the beach. It was deserted and trashed from the hurricane but it was littered with all sorts of shells, so he started picking them up. Then he became aware of a young woman, about thirty feet away from him and keeping pace with him. At first it made him very wary. He was like there is an entire beach here and no one else so why is she keeping pace with me. After about half an hour, he decided he had to say something the next time she came close enough and so he started toward her and she spoke and he said "Mom, it was the weirdest thing, I couldn't speak, couldn't spit out a word, my stomach flipped and I was just mute and that never happens to me. But, I recovered and said, I am glad you said something I've been trying to figure out how to tell you how beautiful you are." (always the smooth talker) and she replied, "Oh shut up." LOL. I am getting chills as he is telling me this. They walked together after that and ended up sitting on the pier talking until almost midnight. Anna went to Franciscan University at Stuebenville (sp) and was a practicing Catholic. He started going to Mass with her. He is now practicing, they are married and now expecting their first child. Answered prayers :-).
Confession and the Reconciliation of Absolution is such an exquisitely beautiful gift, it makes me so sad when people dread it and fear it and shy away from it.
This is a beautiful topic :-).