Confession, for real

It’s a confession about confession! Ha!  I haven’t written much about RCIA lately, but that is because there hasn’t been much to share or much I’m willing to share.  But last night’s class was attending the reconciliation service.  I am going to admit that I haven’t been to confession for about 15 years.  It was about this time that I didn’t feel a connection with the church and didn’t regularly attend mass.  And you know, it’s hard to get back into going to confession because that good Catholic guilt about NOT going gets to you and you just put it off and put it off some more.  And, as I’ve said before, I have issues with being vocal about my faith.  So it felt weird to want to go to confession and either tell T that I was going or to hire a babysitter to go.  But last night was part of RCIA, and I’m not one to be neglectful of commitments.  Receiving reconciliation wasn’t a requirement yet for T and the other candidates, but everyone else, of course, was welcome to participate.  I decided that I would just get over my fear and guilt and do it.

As I stood in line I kept thinking about the things I could say.  I kept thinking of the same types of things.  I had nothing MAJOR to confess, even after 15 years.  Yes, I have my faults, and I talked to the priest about those, including my absence from church.  And you know what? I cried.  Not sobbing, mind you, but the tears came.  But they weren’t tears of sadness.  When I walked back to the pew where T was sitting, he asked me if everything was okay.  “Yes, I am good.”  I was experiencing a release of emotion.  And it was good.

One of the details of the ceremony at our church is that after confession you pick an ornament from one of many baskets to decorate the tree on the alter.  I had never noticed when the tree became glittery with ornaments or why it was so.  But now I know.  The symbolism is strong that now (after receiving reconciliation) is a time for joy and celebration of the season.


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