Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.

Confession.  Penance.  Reconciliation.  Whatever you want to call it, it is the same thing.  A Sacrament and a gift from God.  When we are dead within our soul due to sin, this Sacrament offers us the opportunity to once again hear the voice of God.

I’m not sure why I still have heart palpitations before going to Confession.  For those of you who know me and know my struggles with this Sacrament, you know that I am MUCH better than I was before.  But, it is still one of those things that I ‘know’ I need, truly ‘want’ to do, but still hesitate before doing.  The after effects though are so worth it!!

The other thought I had tonight was on the “how” of confession.  Having gone through instruction on confession in the  early 70’s after Vatican II, I remember being absolutely terrified being in the confessional.  It was a dark, small room with a screen and the slightly muffled voice of the priest coming from behind the screen.  That whole scenario slightly freaked me out, to be totally honest.  So, when I started coming back to the Sacrament during my college years, I always went face to face with the priest.  It just seemed so much more ‘human’.  But, going face to face brings its own issues.  Namely, actually facing a priest and saying things you would normally not tell another living soul.   Hmm, not necessarily a walk in the park!  Over the years, I found very creative ways to actually confess some tough things but in a delicate way so as to avoid a break out of hives in either myself or the priest.  But, I always wondered whether I was being explicit enough and whether my ‘delicate’ wording was really just avoidance.

So, tonight, when I went to confession again, I decided to give that small box and screen another try.  It did not seem quite as dark as my 40 year old memory was AND it didn’t seem nearly as intimidating.  In fact, it was helpful!  Very helpful!  It was so much easier to be completely open and honest and spill it all out with no holds barred when I wasn’t being “watched” (and I know the priest doesn’t ‘watch’ you, but I hope you know what I mean here).  Afterwards, I felt so much better.  I KNOW without a shadow of doubt that there wasn’t any hesitation on my part and no worries about my delicate wording actually avoiding the issue altogether.  Instead, I, the one who was dead, really confessed and was forgiven.  And as Scripture puts it so much better than I can…

the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.


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