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 3, I 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,