Saturday, July 23, 2011

Confession on My Mind...

I've had confession on my mind lately, mainly because I really, really need to go.

My prospects for going however, are rather poor at the moment, and don't look to be improving any time soon.

It's not as if I have anything major to confess. If I did I would find a way to move every obstacle out of the way to get there. It's just the little things that build up when I make mistakes, the way most of us tend to do, and the uncomfortable feeling that it has been more than a month since my last confession and that after a month I start to feel a little bit grimy (if that makes sense) when I haven't received this sacrament. I find that I have a shorter fuse (which isn't really helped out by the insane pregnancy hormones or the fact that I've been having contractions for the past hour that seriously hurt).

Being an hour away from our parish doesn't help either. Once, when I desperately wanted to go to confession, we got there early on a Wednesday and Paul asked one of the priests if he had a few moments to hear a quick confession. He told Paul yes in a friendly enough manner and then proceeded to lecture me in the confessional about not making it on Saturday (I hadn't needed to confess on Saturday! Sins are not limited to weekends!). I think I'd rather he said "no, I'm busy" (after all we'd asked if he were to busy), than be as humiliated I was by the time I left the confessional.

Hopefully not many people have this sort of experience in confession. I actually look forward to going confession because it's easier for me to live the way I know I should live in the time that follows. I feel peaceful. I know that a lot of people don't like going to confession and that a lecture, like the one I received would possibly put them off from going... at all...

Despite my attachment to the sacrament that "event" has made me a bit more timid about going to confession. Paul works on Saturday afternoons. I'm not going to drive an hour each way and brave the forty minute line in a silent church with Sadie and Mae by myself for a less than mortal sin. And the odds of me asking anyone for confession, no matter how much time there is before Mass, is somewhere between slim and none.

I'm hoping I'll have more opportunities very soon.

And for those who feel bold enough to share: How often do you feel the need to go to confession? Is it usually when you feel like you have a reason or do you get that "I need to go" feeling after a set amount of time?


  1. It all depends for me. Certainly I make sure I get to confession during Advent and Lent without question. I find that I'm more likely to go during the fall and winter than I am during the summer. Of course, that is mildly influenced by the fact that I'm not a fan of confessing in a room that has an open window which has people walking by. I have times where I go a few months between confessions and other times where I'm there on a Saturday and I'm back a few days or a week later (our parish has Wednesday confessions from September to June).

    Also, I decided when my oldest went to her first penance and reconciliation that if she needed to go to confession (either by her asking or my husband and I determining that she NEEDS to go) then I would also go. So there have been lots of times that I didn't necessarily feel like I had to get there that I have gone. Oddly enough those are the times when I left the confessional realizing that I needed the sacrament more than I thought.

    At this point it's been three months since I've gone to confession and I really should make it a point to get my butt over there. I think it's going to be on my to-do list for next Saturday.

  2. Ideally, I'd go every 2 to 3 weeks. That was before I had kids though. I'd love to get there every month. That had been my New Years' resolution in 2009. I did it until June when the baby was born. Nowadays I only go every few months, especially as busy as we've been this year (new baby, vacation, moving) but I get that "I need to go" itch if I go regularly.

  3. I go once a month, the Thursday closest to the 1st Friday of the month or the 1st Friday if traffic keeps me back and if I still didn't get to go I'll brave the Saturday although I don't like to go on Saturdays, and so far I haven't had to go then. The Thursday and Fridays are usually after work so I'll usually ask to leave early or my chances of making it are very, very slim to none. I can't let more than a month go between confessions, not like I am committing a bunch of mortal sins but I am a Daily Mass attendee and I just feel better with regular confession. I have confession available Monday mornings after Mass but I usually have to go to work, Thursday and Friday 4:30 to 5 pm and Saturday 5 to 6 pm. There are 3 churches closer to my work but I don't know their schedules plus I like the priest who does confession on Thursday. One day a week seems a little stingy to me but priests are really busy these days so I know some things can't be helped.

  4. I haven't been in awhile and it's been on my mind lately. Once a month is usually good for me.

  5. I usually go once a month, but lately, I've had the urge to go more often. I tend to be overly scrupulous, so trying to write all my sins down for a month (I know I won't get them all) is an ordeal. I also get uber anxious after Confession because I'm afraid I'll commit mortal sin before getting to Communion. I wish I had a better relationship with the Sacrament, but I think going more might help me chill.

  6. Never be shy to ask a priest to go the Confession! It's part of their God given profession, which they perform 24/7.

    Also, don't let the humiliation of that event phase you. Take it as an honor that you were unjustly humiliated for doing the right thing. Christ was unjustly humiliated many times, and if you offer up such instances in His name, the humiliation becomes fruitful! :)

  7. Oh, and I usually like to make it to Confession every 2 weeks, even if just for the little sins. My poor memory seems to blend everything together after 2wks and it help me to recognize some of the bad habits I may have gotten into. Some Popes went to Confession daily/weely, and I figure if the Pope himself goes that often... :)

  8. I relate EXACTLY to your post! I totally know what you mean about feeling grimy and not being as patient the longer it's been. We go 2-3 times a month. Thankfully making it on Saturday is very easy for us. I love confession. Though I've had more than one priest tell me I went to often and my sins were not significant! Hmmm, seem to recall JPII going everyday...

  9. That's a really good point, Andrea. I'll have to remember that, because I find myself sometimes in that position - needing to feel honored for being humiliated instead of just feeling, you know, humiliated - once in a while.

    I try to go to confession once a month. I don't have children yet, but my heart goes out to those of you who have a hard time getting there because of family commitments. I know exactly that "fresh-scrubbed" feeling you get from reconciliation and I love it. The sun just feels brighter, the call just feels stronger, the possibilities of growing closer with God so much more vivid. It's wonderful. I couldn't wrap my mind around it when I was first in RCIA ... now I can't live without it.

  10. I go a few times a year. It's something I struggle with. I don't ever really feel an urge to go (I find that making things right with the people I hurt, as well as private prayer, to be much more healing), and I don't feel relieved or renewed when I do go. I'm working on it : )

  11. Kateri, don't feel as if you need to "feel" something with Confession. It requires the act of the will, not necessarily emotion, to drive one to repent of sins.

    We recognize a wrongdoing, we realize what we have done to Christ, and we ask His forgiveness with the intention to never return to a sin that has injured Him so.

    Since our sins committed not only sometimes hurt our brethren, but have directly wounded and separated us from Christ, it is only fitting that we make amends directly through Him. For every sin against another human has created a more painful wound in His hands, a deeper wound in His feet, a stabbing pain in His side...

    I like to think of Confession as the bandage I can put on His wounds until my penance during life can attempt to atone for them.

    So, I guess what I'm saying is, don't wait for the "Urge" to go. Be systematic, examine the conscience using a good guide, and if something pops up, you know you need to go to the Sacrament. And even going to Confession for venial sins affords graces as well! We can all use all the graces we can get in this world :) Best wishes.

  12. I haven't been since March... and that was my first confession. I haven't been back because I'm so scared to go. They gave us this booklet in RCIA for what to say and what the priest would say, and it was really extensive with Bible verses to say, etc. I feel like thats not what I'm supposed to do EVERY time and that prob not all priests are familiar that format?, but I'm confused about what I'm actually supposed to say. :-(

  13. T.W.-

    The way it usually works for me is that I go in and the priest does the beginning part (the part that includes the sign of the cross) and then I say: "Bless me Father for I have sinned it's been ___ weeks since my last good confession..." and then I confess my sins. Then the priest gives a penance and then has you say an act on contrition: "Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. I detest all my sins..." which they usually have a small printout there for people who don't have it memorized (and one of the priests I talked to when I was first confirmed said a lot of time that is people who have been going their whole life, so don't be nervous about not knowing it by heart!). Then I try to do my penance right away if it's that kind of a penance and not an every day kind of penance (oh how I dread open ended penances!).

    I hope that helps!

    And Andrea I've loved all your comments, especially the first one about how to look at humiliations in life! I think that will really help! Thank you!

  14. Thanks that does! That's what I always think of, but they never gave us that info in RCIA (the program was pretty... umm... lets just say the teachers weren't on top of the ball a lot of the time!)

  15. I'm in the middle of having those same exact feelings!!! Seems like we're not the only ones. Ha ha.

    Luckily, I've never had a poor experience in the confessional (other than have a confessor rush me out or give me a wimpy penance).

    I agree with Andrea - the humiliation is a blessing, and even an experience that you can share with others which can be helpful in ways only God would understand. :)

  16. Hi I found your blog via your blog roll. Thanks so much for linking to me! It's really nice to read about other Catholic mothers. I have two little girls as well. Hubby and I haven't been to confession in about a year. We've found it really hard as mass is an hour away, the confession schedule for sunday is only before mass starts and we never get there in time because we live so far away. And it just seems very hard to do when we both have a noisy child to deal with each.. of course if we had something majorly serious to confess we'd rush there but it is so hard! I'm glad we aren't the only ones who feel like this.
    I'm following along with you too here. Hope the move has been going smoothly and congrats on #3!


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