Tonight we got to church early so I took the opportunity to go to confession
When I was growing up, confession was a weekly thing we did at school. Each Friday afternoon, Sr. Carmelita would march us all over and send us in to Father one by one to say our confession.
I really didn't like it much and it was a big put of for me. If I remember correctly, we were taken in year 2 and 3. I don't remember it happening after that.
Probably after year 3 until I was married, the amount of times I actually went to confession could probably be counted on my 2 hands. It wasn't something I was encouraged to do.
In my teen years, I started to really hate going to mass and doing anything that might be considered a little bit religious. It just wasn't cool you know.
I only went to church when my parents made me. I would often lie to them and say that I would go in the evening with my friends and not go at all. By the time I was 20, I was a long way away from the church. I hadn't been to mass for a long time and I had not been to confession for even longer.
The kind of relationship I had with God was one that I believed in him but I didn't think he spoke through the church and I thought a lot of the teachings of the church were optional. I thought that the church only taught certain things because it was so old fashioned. My relationship was on a give and take basis. I asked God for something and hoped that he would give it to me. If he didn't, he was a terrible God.
Fast forward to the first year of our marriage. I was pregnant with Daniel and realized that I was glad I had been raised to have a belief in God. Steve wanted to do some bible studies and said, he thought he should do them in the Catholic church since my parents were practicing.
I mentioned to my mother that Steve wanted to do this and a couple of weeks later there was an advertisement in her bulletin saying that there was a journey to easter course starting and all parishioners were welcome.
Steve wanted to go so I decided to go with him. At the first session, we found out that the Journey to Easter was the program that was used for RCIA. This is the program that is offered to people that are discerning if God is calling them to join the Catholic church.
To cut a long story short, Steve ended up joining the church the Easter after we had been married 1 year. Daniel was 4 months old when he joined.
Around this time, we meet people that were a part of a Catholic Charismatic group. They were the first people I meet that actually challenged me to believe that the church taught what she did for a reason. That reason was because she wanted to look after our souls. I realized through talking with these people, I started to realize the importance of attending daily mass, going to confession regularly and praying alone with God each day. It was a big turning point in my life.
I remember one morning waking up and having my usual morning prayer. That morning, I realized the sins from my youth that were still on my soul. I realized that I needed to go to confession and confess these sins and be healed of the hurt that they were doing to my soul. I was really nervous about confessing and imagined the priest saying to me "WHAT DID YOU SAY YOU DID?"
Of course, when I got to confession, that didn't happened. I remember though the feeling of freedom I felt at that moment that I confessed the sin. I think it was my first confession that I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit in what I needed to confess. Following through with it was hard but the feeling that I felt after this confession was something I just cannot describe. I know that I had lifted a huge burden of my shoulders and that I had confronted a part of me that was holding me back from a deep relationship with God.
Since this confession, I see confession in a different way. I know now, that if there is some sin in my life that I am struggling to overcome that I will get Grace from God to overcome this sin if I go to confession and confess it. It really is a wonderful sacrament.
Have a good weekend.