Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CWBN Blog Hop - Confessions of an Over-Analyzing Mama...

Happy Tuesday All!

Happy Feast Day of Blessed John of Parma.



Today, I am joining up with Allison Gingras and crew for the CWBN Blog Hop. It's a monthly blog post geared toward a pointed topic. And It's awesome. This month's topic is My True Feelings About Confession. It's a loaded post ya'll! Please go to Allison's Blog and check out the other bloggers. There is so much talent. AND - if you like their posts, please let them know. Everyone likes to hear a compliment now and then. Likewise, if you have a question, please ask! ENJOY!

I planned on interviewing friends for this post and got some great responses about Confession, but it was not meant to be. The Holy Spirit said, "Google Scott Hahn on Confession". What I found has changed me (links later in the post). Here's the background of me and confession:

As a convert, it's always been hard for me.  In fact, I named my post, Confessions of an Over-Analyzing Mama, because I freak myself out so much before I get to confession, that it always seems like I didn't confess enough because I honesty am so nervous I can not remember what I say.  Sigh. It's scary to me and I know how undeserving I am.

How could something that is supposed to be as calming as this:


Really feel more like this:


As we are getting through Lent and my shortcomings are even more obvious, I can whole-heartedly say that Confession and I need to form a better relationship.

I am such an imperfect mom, wife, friend, sister, person...
  • I swear (not all the time, but when I do... oh ya'll).
  • I sometimes judge others and am impatient with them.
  • And I am so impatient with my child - who is just like me. But if he could do everything perfectly... Sigh (it's not that bad, but some days... MAYBE!).
  • I don't always do what I say I'm going to. I want to... it just doesn't happen.
  • I am way too self-conscious (as in egotistical, you know, everyone must notice how unclean my home is or how fat I am or how... WHATEVER... I drive myself crazy with thoughts of not being good enough....  NOT every day. But a lot of days.
  • I have dreams of being married to a man who picks up after himself - in total. Who never complains about being too tired after work. Who doesn't snore louder than three Harley Motorcycles. Who's in super good shape and who never struggles with money... 
  • Because I have been through so much in life, I tend not to trust easily...
  • I'll stop there, because my sins are way more involved than that. Sigh.
OK, I'm totally making myself sound bad, but I'm going out on a limb here. Please know, the flip side of the above is a loyal, loving, Catholic mom, wife, sister, friend, person... who would give anyone the shirt off her back.... and has done.  I'm just trying to be honest so another person like me will know they are not alone and that there is hope.

Let me tell you what happened the last time I went to confession...

The poor young Priest, Father Mike, here in Fort Worth. I walk in, kneel, say the Act of Contrition... and then I say, "I'm really not even sure where to start or what to say".... and I began to literally stutter. And I got so embarrassed, that I know my confession was not good enough. YOU know? He was very nice. And I did my penance. But I have to be honest, several things were crossing my mind:
  • How could this man possibly understand?
  • There is a HUGE line, I need to make this short, when really I could take, conservatively, well over an hour! Sigh. 
  • I am an idiot, stuttering through this. I wonder if I will make his worst confession list. (Yes, I know they don't make lists... I'm clearly irrational at this moment).
When my husband and I went through RCIA, Confession was not explained well. It just wasn't. I have read about confession, but now that I have listened to Dr. Scott Hahn's YouTube talks, The Healing Power of Confession, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3I feel armed with the confidence I need to make a good confession and actually FEEL THE PEACE!  Please listen to these if you haven't. God really works through this awesome man as he shares his experiences on the subject.

The first thing Dr. Hahn says about confession is "The more you need it, the less you want it". So I know that my resisting this is a sin of pride/ego and I need to go more often.  I know this.
Logically, I know that examining my conscience helps me know myself better. It helps me uncover the things I need to work on (with God's help). I know that the benefits are overcoming sins/bad habits; bringing peace that only absolution can bring; helping us to behave more like Jesus and the Saints; and through the examination and confession - we become stronger people, more determined to  break our bad habits. Sigh. 

I want the peace that comes from confession and absolution. But ya'll... I'm not at peace when I leave.  I turn into the over analyzing person I am, and all I can think is - What did I forget? Did I say enough? I'm seriously THAT nervous. And I don't know why. Well, other than the evil one... he just does not want me to get it right. So I have decided I am going to Arm myself, like Dr. Hahn did, and get my relationship with this Sacrament sorted out.  Here are a few tools.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit for Confession:


Examination of Conscience:
This is the one I really love. There are others out there.


Act of Contrition:


One last thing... Dr. Hahn (in the 2nd YouTube video) tells a story about a beggar he meets in Italy, who used to be a Priest. You have to listen to what happens when this beggar (former Priest) ends up in a dinner with Pope John Paul II.  The Pope asked the beggar to walk outside with him, and he asked the beggar to hear his confession. And when this former Priests said, "I'm just a beggar, I'm not a Priest anymore, etc..." Pope John Paul II said, "So am I".  He reinstated the Priest and gave him an assignment... It's a beautiful and humbling story. 

Who am I not to confess my sins, if such a Holy Man confesses his sins. I love these Videos. They have given me confidence and changed my heart. And I will post about it when I get it right so that you will know YOU can do it too (if you aren't). 

Listen to all three parts, they are about 30 minutes each! 

I hope this post has helped or touched you. I can tell you that it made me very emotional. I would love to hear your comments too!

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Emily


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13 comments:

  1. Oohh! I love Scott Hahn, so will need to check out the videos! And, I also love how the Holy Spirit guided you to his videos, rather than taking you to talk to other friends. 😍

    One thing that I love about Confession is how, of you walk in and truly forget some sins, you are still forgiven!!! So, even as an over-analyzer (myself), I do a literal reminder when I am sitting doing my penance (or even after), and I say, "Ugh, I forgot x,y,z..." - He's already forgiven me! I didn't omit it on purpose, I just forgot!

    But, the over-analyzer in me may also be why I use two hard copy Examinations of Conscience, and an app, to prepare... I tried going without preparing recently, and felt like a fish out of water. I was kind of lost. I look forward to pulling the EoC you provide in this article up on my computer screen later, and seeing if I should add it to what I already use!

    And, a fabulous thing?? The priests get amnesia from Confessions!! They don't remember it when you walk out of the Confessional - several chaplains have told me, and I have read similar things from other priests!

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    1. I am going to do this and Adoration more often. I feel so unworthy for Adoration. Apparently I'm way too egotistical.

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    2. Is it egotistical? Or, just feeling unworthy? Our chapel provides Confession during Adoration every week. It is so nice to go sit with the priest in Confession, and then sit there in His presence, and focus on my penance!

      Also, He loves us just being present - praying, reading, just *being*. I pray that you will be able to attend both Confession and Adoration more. Adoration is one of those devotions which I adore - He accepts us where we are, and as we are, and *that,* to me, is the beauty of the devotion.

      Keep in mind - He has been waiting in the Tabernacle for *you* (for all of us) for over two centuries (not my thought - I think it's a paraphrase of St. Josemaria Escriva)! We should all strive to give him "just one hour" of a wait with Him!

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  2. I love your honesty and your practical tips, Emily! I'm going to share this one. Glad we connected through the CWBN.

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    1. Thank you. I really write from the heart. <3

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  3. I'm helping out with our parish RCIA this year, and we just had the Confession practicum last week! It's still intriguing, even as a cradle Catholic. I had no idea that so many people pray slightly different Acts of Contrition. We tend to use whatever we were taught as children, and apparently that leads to some substantial regional differences.

    I had the thought of putting together a list of little Catholic things that don't really come up in RCIA but everyone else just seems to know them. I thought of all of those additional prayers at the end of the rosary we add on, the little hand gestures during mass, how to genuflect, crossing yourself when passing a church. Are there any others that have stood out to you?

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    1. That would be awesome. I still remember the first time I prayed the Rosary with a group. I was so embarrassed I didn't know the extra prayers.
      That was a huge thing for me.
      Anything along those lines is so helpful.

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  4. Your initial images caused me to literally LOL. You are awesome. A truly sweet person. Remember that we are only worthy of salvation because God said we are. #InTheSameBoat

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    1. <3 I'm happy to be #inthesameboat with you. It's funny how our minds work. Hugs!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your heart, Emily!

    I think sometimes the enemy is waiting for us right outside the door of the confessional. He wants us to doubt God's merciful love! (Just like he made Adam & Eve doubt in the garden ...) But we have to TRUST that when we hear the words, "I absolve you from your sins ..." we are truly set free! Right after confession, and just before I pray my penance, I thank the Lord for His mercy. I try to just sit with Him and rest in His love, forgiveness, and grace. Maybe at that time, you can ask the Lord for an increase in peace?! And if you do remember something afterward, try not to worry; we can so easily forget in the moment. The Lord knows! Often, I end my list of sins with "I am sorry for these and all my sins," just in case! ;-)

    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Sarah. I have gotten so much great advice since publishing this post. Thank you for sharing your process. I know it will help me.

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  6. Emily--you´ve got it right the RCIA wasn´t terribly helpful in explaining confession (that was my experience, too)--but this blog hop sure is! I´m looking forward to setting aside some time and checking out Scott Hahn´s links there. Thanks for those!

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  7. I love your honesty and your voice. This post REALLY spoke to me. And I am going to use that prayer. Thank you.

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Thank you for leaving a message. I love hearing your thoughts. You are a blessing to me.
Em