Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The sacrament of Reconciliation, after the Gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) and the Eucharist, is the greatest gift Our Lord gave to us. A way to 'get right with the Man' while becoming humble, meek, and clean!

I was confirmed on Easter Vigil of 2005. Prior to receiving God’s sacrament, it had been almost 25 years since my last confession. When I said, ‘Bless me Father for I have sinned, it’s been 25 years since my last confession’, I could hear the priest fall off his chair. I am God’s proof that no amount of time is too long and no sin is too heinous that He cannot forgive us if we repent as he taught us. I’ve attested to anyone who will listen that the feeling I had when the priest said just 5 simple words—I ABSOLVE YOU OF YOUR SINS—was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced as a Christian.

But first, I want to take you back to when I was 16. It’s around this age when I began to think I had life figured out. I’ve called it ‘being my own Pope’. At this age, I thought Confession was for suckers. I could go directly to God myself and didn’t need some ritual or a priest to tell me God forgave me. I viewed the priest as just another sinful human who had no right to hear what I’ve done to offend God if I didn’t get to hear his. I used to think that my objections were reasonable but, in reality, they were uninformed objections that came from pride, arrogance, and shame. Nevertheless, for the next 19 years, I convinced myself that it was about Me (with a capital ‘M’) and God. I conducted myself as I saw fit (being my own Pope and all) and He was my get out of jail free card. I created this weird world in which I would commit a sin and God would forgive it simultaneously since He knew that deep down, I was sorry. Over these 19 years, as all people do, I sinned early and often. I had my instant absolution that I had, in effect, granted myself and cut God, the middle man, out of the equation completely. It wasn’t until 2003 when a sin I committed left myself and those around me in shambles. God had pulled the rug from under me and taken all that I judged I myself had made.

And so, with my life, and the life of those I loved dearly, virtually destroyed, I instinctively reached out to our Blessed Mother. Anyone who tells me that Mary is not their mother just hasn’t sunk low enough to hear her calling them. I hadn’t prayed a Rosary in 20+ years and didn’t even remember how to. I simply prayed, ‘Mary, I don’t know if I’m even doing this right but I know you want me to understand. I don’t want to bargain with you, I just want you to take me and fix me. I’ve done nothing but destroy my soul without your son and am tired of following my passions and desires. I know that without God, I am utterly incapable of saving myself and so I ask you to talk to your Son for me. In return, I will pray this Rosary with you everyday.’ Within a day, God had sent me multiple signs that I could use to find Him and repair the damage I had done. In praying the Rosary, I could hear Mary telling me to repent, confess, and then let go of my sins. God had also put in me a hunger for all things Catholic. I devoured books about Church doctrine, apologetics, and anything else I could get ahold of. He was leading me to the answer for every question, doubt, and misunderstanding I had about Catholicism. And after 19 years, I didn’t feel fear or arrogance—I felt humility, sorrow, and hope. I saw a speaker on EWTN who, at that very time, said, ‘The only sin God will not forgive is the one we don’t repent of.’ Suddenly, the hope began to grow and I swore I would give the best confession I could give. I sat down and examined my conscience—I came up with a list that covered 2 pages fully, front and back. I entered the Confessional, got on my knees, fought through tears, and did exactly what God tells us all to do—repent, confess, and let go. The priest was gracious, kind, and did all that God had given him authority to do—forgive me in the person of Christ. He congratulated me on a good confession and said those 5 wonderful words. Making things right with God feels wonderful. The weight leaves you and you go to Holy Communion with a new soul—one worthy of receiving Jesus.

This year, I have been to confession just about once per month. Even when I have no mortal sins to confess, I know that venial sins add up and they dispose me (and all of us) to bigger sins. Frequent confession keeps my sins right there for me to see and reminds me of the damage sin does to the soul.I won’t tell you that Confession is fun, or happy, or easy. It’s none of those things. Neither was our Lord’s trip toward Redemption. But after toying with every Protestant Church I could find, twisting Scripture to fit my moral code, and taking this spiritual reality of God, the Devil, and my salvation for granted, I’m here to tell you that at the end, forever, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell…Period.


Post a Comment

<< Home