GO TO CONFESSION!
There, I said it. And I mean it.
I was sent a link to a piece at a blog called The Motherlands. The blogger writes of her First Confession experience as convert through RCIA. A principle point she makes is that confession shouldn’t be too comfortable. She says (with my usual and now legendary treatment):
The light at the top of the door turned green, and there I was—walking through the door of a confessional for the first time in my life. Scenes from movies and books were all I had to go on, but I had clear expectations of what the confessional would look like. [Movies never show those awful rooms. They always show the classic dark booth with a kneeler and a grate.] Instead, I saw a kneeler beneath a frosted glass partition (think shower door) under bright fluorescent lights, and a narrow walkway to the left. “Come on back,” said the confessor, [grrrr] and I thought, “Excuse me?”
On the other side of the partition there were two chairs around a wooden table with fake flowers and a box of Kleenex on it. It looked exactly like a therapist’s office. My nerves settled immediately. I had to remind myself this was supposed to be confession. Instead, I felt like I should be asking if they would bill my insurance.
Here’s why I don’t like it. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
I’m there to confess my sins, and the priest is there, standing in for God. Sitting down to chat with a priest like we’re talking over coffee doesn’t provide the proper gravitas. [Do I hear another “Amen!”?] It feels more like I’m betraying my husband to tell another man about my failures, while he holds out a box of tissue so I can dry my tears.
Confession should be different—the only place where I am kneeling, head bowed, giving voice to my public and private sins. Speaking to a priest in the same manner that I would to my husband, my brother, or my landlord makes him seem more like “just a man.” Yet the priest is not a mere confidant but miraculously connected to Christ himself, who over 2,000 years ago “breathed on them; and said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (Jn 20:22-23).
The mystical nature of confession is lost under those fluorescent lights, with the Office Max chairs and fake roses. And so is our anonymity, which is a privilege in our culture.
She gets it.
Read the rest there. Then examine your consciences and…
GO TO CONFESSION!