I must…ahem….confess that going to Confession is not my most favorite thing to do. I’ll allow you to ponder the utter deepness of that statement.
Ok, all joking aside. I say this because as someone who has made it a point to actually understand what I am doing with regards to religion in general, and Catholic religion in specific (which I find most people don’t even attempt to undertake — this is another entire blog, much less an entire post), I find that no matter how many times I frequent the Sacrament, it has never “taken” with me.
The point is that it never gets easier. Sin is sin. It’s ugly. It’s embarassing. Did I mention it’s embarassing? Yes, pity poor me sitting in the confessional looking at Fr. ?? yet AGAIN telling him why I can’t seem to stop ??, even though he told me LAST time to quit it, now. The debased portion of my readership will fill in the ??’s with lord knows what, pretending this is a sicko version of Mad-Libs for the perverted. The angels among you will find it easier to relate.
And yet, as it never gets easier, it never gets more difficult either. In fact I am yet still shocked that, after having divulged who I really and truly am to another human being, they do not simply run from me in horror. It is much like the knowledge one possesses that your spouse really (and I mean REALLY) knows you, and yet still loves you. In fact, the shock and awe I expect from Fr. So-And-So, even though I’ve never actually seen any priest react thusly, not only never materializes, but strangely enough fails to even register in the slightest.
This is because of two things I believe. The first is simply that most priests have hear more confessions than any one of us laypersons cares to think about. If anything, hearing confessions to a priest is probably more akin to penance for them, rather than our imaginative fantasies of soap opera lore. The second reason is that we must not forget that while Confession is hard, it is a Sacrament, and thus God has seen fit to bestow an abundance of Grace upon those who come, even fearfully, with a truly repentant heart. Believe me, I know.
So while I can’t say I enjoy it when I need to go, I have found that I learn more about what it means to be holy by bringing to the fore exactly what keeps me from it. It’s not easy to do….but I think that is the point.