Confession Time

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Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash

Normally I don’t talk about my confessions to my Lord. I wasn’t going to post this but, a close friend said I needed to share this experience. She felt the Catholic confession was kept a secret and not explained well by Catholics she had known. She’s right. I do find it hard to describe experiencing the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I find confession to be extremely personal between God and I. So I understand the confessional being shrouded in mystery for those who are not Catholic. While the Catholic faith is not for my friend, she liked my description of this confession.

The beautiful thing about my Lord is reconciliation with him is private. Unless He lays on my heart to make reparations, I don’t say anything because; He holds my heart in his hand. He is my trusted Friend who can keep a secret.

Recently something was laid on my heart. To me it was big. Apparently I had been breaking a couple of commandments for years. I immediately went to my Savior in prayer asking for forgiveness. Having grown up in Protestant churches, I always ask for forgiveness as soon as I realize I am wrong. I don’t wait. I talk to Jesus right then. But, I still felt unsettled. After growing up with Jesus by my side and depending on him through my adult years, I did not understand why I broke commandments in both Old and New Testaments.

Exodus 20:3 [NABRE] says; “You shall not have other gods besides me.” In other words. Nothing comes above God and his will in my life.

In Matthew 22:37-38 [NABRE] Jesus says; “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” I’m pretty sure I love the Lord, my God, with all my heart and soul…But my mind too? I am so distracted by things I need to think about and do.

“But I did this for you.” I tried to rationalize. Silence. I tried to wrap my head around why I put something before my God who I love. Can you guess what I did? Do you have an inkling of who I put above God?

It was my family, specifically, my husband and sons. My changing home structure and health weaknesses brought me the realization that I was putting my children and husband before God. I had put my life on hold but more importantly, I put God on hold.

I wept with the realization that I had given away years of time with my Savior to do what? Some of what I did was good. Some not so good. Some just didn’t matter. The cost was I lost my way. It was inevitable in my search for change, I would come across a spiritual obstacle holding me back. So what do I do next? I had already prayed for forgiveness. I knew I was forgiven. The emotion still dogged my spirit. I went to confession.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash Basilique Notre Dame de Montréal Montréal, Canada

I told the priest what was heavy on my heart. How my children and husband came before God. My days were structured around what they needed or wanted first before anything else. My day was not centered on where God was leading me and my family.

The Priest reminded me of last year’s Jubilee of Mercy in the Catholic Church. How the Father is ready for us when we need His Mercy. How He is waiting to pour mercy on our souls if we open our hearts to Him and ask for His Mercy (including forgiveness). When we open up to Christ, He cleanses our sins and heals us with His Forgiveness and Mercy.

The feelings of mercy, forgiveness and love overwhelmed my senses as the Priest sitting physically in front of me passed forgiveness and the admonishment to go and sin no more to me. It was the physical affirmation of Christ’s Mercy I needed to confirm what I already knew in my heart. When I prayed for forgiveness, weeks ago, I was bathed in God’s Mercy. The gift of confession, given to me by God, was the physical connection with God to affirm what God had already done. A decade of the Rosary was my penance. Kneeling at the altar and completing the decade of the Rosary caused me to pray for God’s help in stopping this habit of sin. It was physical action in the corporal world cementing my bond with Christ.

I know both Catholics and Protestants will argue the theology with me. I have been both a Protestant and a Catholic in my life. Here’s the thing, I’m not called to be a theologian. Right now I am called to move from my vocation as a wife and mother to something more. What I wrote above is what I experienced during this one confession. It is what I felt during this process. The forgiveness of God and his Mercy are a gift to my soul. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was a gift to my physical body and mind.

We all physically manifest Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit when we live as Christians. Are we perfect? Oh no! Not me! I pray for forgiveness daily because…I are a sinner of the first order! However, God uses us in our imperfections and weaknesses.

You never know when an act of love or word of kindness will touch a hardened heart. For me the Priest touched the hardness in my heart by passing on the words of Mercy.  I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy my confessions, but if they bring me closer to God…Well…it works for me! {Wink}

Peace and mercy be with you today. Love,

Milly

P.S.  I thank my precious friend for challenging me to open my protected hard little heart and hopefully share a bit more of the woman God is shaping me to be.

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