I heard my first “fake confession” in my Reconciliation Practicum class today. I have to say it was pretty scary, but also an awesome feeling at the same time.
It brought me back to a time probably eight years ago or more now, when I was going through a crisis of faith. I thought seriously about joining a non-denominational megachurch in our area. I was really torn on the issue, and almost did it, but, as usual, God sent a big sign. One of the nights I was there, the minister, who was obviously an ex-Catholic, spoke of his experience of the sacrament as a child. I remember him saying something like “… and then the priest forgave my sins, or at least that’s what he said he did …”
His very disparaging comments about the Sacrament of Penance were really jarring to me. I know I thought at the time that what he was saying was certainly not my experience. At that point, I knew I could not live without the sacraments of the Church, and well, here I am now.
Preparing to hear confessions, to be on really holy ground with people who bare their souls and are seeking God’s forgiveness. I know how awesome this sacrament has been in my own life, and I feel so very blessed to be given the opportunity to celebrate that sacrament with God’s people. It’s an awesome prayer, absolution:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, +
and of the Holy Spirit.
I know how much hearing that prayer of absolution has always meant to me, and how different the world looks to me when I have been absolved. God truly longs to reconcile all the world to himself, one soul at a time. What a blessing to have the opportunity to be part of that.