An Act of Contrition

I’m been intending to go to Confession for a number of months and for a number of months I’ve been prompted to go — but always the devil would win and another day would pass with the half hearted intention and full lack of follow-through. [Famous excuses: I was sick; I had too much work to do so couldn’t leave work for so long; I forgot.]

But yesterday I confirmed the day’s confession time and semi-thought I’d go and then just in the knick of time I remembered it was happening and I was able to go so I bounded out the door, up to church, and towards the confessional. I had hoped that there would be a line so I could have time for an examination of conscience. But I at the tail end of the hour so there were two open confessionals and no line.

Within one second the one priest came out and so my choice was limited to one — however, it was clear I had to just go in despite not being fully prepared.

It’s curious that I had thought about going for so long, but somehow have never taken the step to really figure out what I wanted to confess. As I confessed my sins I felt I did a decent job confessing all that I should, and needed to, confess. But still it felt incomplete.

What is that I was meant to confess? What is it that is leaving me feel empty spiritually? I was hoping this confession would fill me back up. But instead I left feeling good only because I finally didn’t let the devil win the day – I got the “win” by doing but it wasn’t a deep-felt win.

But what now? If I do figure out additional sins I need to confess well I guess I need to go back, right? But that will be awkward. But seeing that my soul needs it I need to be fine with feeling awkward since it will have such clear, important benefits. I hope it won’t take me months to get to it again.

So I feel “eh” about having received the Sacrament. But I received God’s grace and while I don’t feel it emotionally I have faith that it has done what it was meant to do – I don’t have to understand it and I don’t have to feel it the way I think I should feel it in order for it to occur –  because “God’s grace is enough”.

The point of this was this: I went to Confession. It wasn’t a perfect Confession; I know this. I’m supposed to have better Confessions – and properly examine my conscience, spend silent time waiting and thinking and preparing. But sometimes life doesn’t let you sit by and wait for it all to be perfect. Sometimes life forces you to get beyond your “good intentions” and instead life asks you to “Go and Do” — “Do it the best that you can, right now, with how things are right now. Don’t worry about perfection. Give God Your Yes right now, in this moment.”

So I’ll cling to the fact that it is better to have gone to Confession than to have not gone. And hopefully this “eh” feeling will inspire me to get to Confession more frequently [not that I want to sin more frequently!] so that I give God more opportunities to fill me with His grace and so that I give myself more opportunities to truly experience and appreciate the grace that God is giving me.

I’ll leave you with Fr. Joe Freedy’s 2/08/17 homily : “Not conforming yourself to the truth is called sin. If you haven’t been conforming yourself to the truth – go to confession. You get zapped with the vitamin of the Holy Spirit for your soul and the Holy Spirit gives you strength to help you avoid sin. Go to confession – it’s a win-win for your soul and for future strength.”


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