Thursday, April 14, 2011

Forgiveness Part II

When I was an active priest I never went to confession enough.

I was formed during a time when psychology was over spiritualized and spirituality and sacramentology was over psychologized.
So confession was sometimes approached as a therapy session and there were priests who forgot about just offering the sacrament and decided to do armchair uneducated therapy sessions.  Perhaps they were victims of a pop psychological approach to priesthood--hopping on every new approach to holiness.  Truth is--a whole generation has gone unconfessed.

I never felt I needed confession until I was married and a father.

Confession isn't about you.
It's about God's love for you.
But we need to get little with it.
We need to make ourselves humble.  Humility squashes pride.  Pride is sin.  

You aren't being humble by writing sins on a piece of paper and secretly burning them or drowning them.  You need to speak the sins to another human being and the way Christ set it up 2000 years ago was to have Himself present through the priest to forgive and welcome you home.  

Why do we keep trying to get around that?  If you go down that road you go down the road of relativism--and then there is no sacrifice, no meaning, no forgiveness, no salvation--nice--go to the cafeteria and pick what fits you because religion and God is supposed to be all comfortable and cozy and no sacrifice.  Oh, I'm sorry is that a crucifix I see?

Okay abuses have happened, Lord knows inside and outside the confessional.  And there will always be excuses.

 "I had a bad experience when I went once before and so I just confess to Jesus"  --pride is keeping you away and we know who the king of pride is....
"They always hear them when I can't make it."--actually this one has a ton of credence.  I wish priests would spend just as much time in the confessional as they do in the other endeavors.  (no disrespect just an observation from an 'insider')

So it is Passiontide--time to be made clean in the blood of the Lamb of God.  No magic paper, no pretend confession in a mirror.  It is time to be humble.

(please check out the comment exchange below)