Monday, March 11, 2013

My first confession

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On Saturday I made my first confession.  I knew there was no way I could confess to the priest I knew at our church and was glad to hear that I could go somewhere else if I wanted.  I was also certain there was no way I could do the face-to-face kind.  The RCIA leaders and other Catholics kept saying it was better and not a big deal, but all I wanted to say was, You don't know what I have to say!  When you did it the first time you were a kid!  I've been saving up sins for more than two and a half decades!  I have a LOT more to say!

I knew I needed to write things down to make sure I covered it all since I thought I might be nervous.  I wrote down everything I could think of in my little notepad during some free time at work.  Armed with my notepad list and the instructions sent to me from the RCIA leader, I headed off to the closest parish, one I'd never been to--nice and safe.

I was about 15 or 20 minutes early so I sat in the car and listened to the radio.  God blessed me with my two current favorite songs, including the one that meant so much to me when we moved here a few months ago.  With 10 minutes still to go, I decided to go inside (who knew if the line would be long?).  No one was inside so I sat down on a pew and waited.  I really wasn't nervous.  I hadn't been since after I'd made my list.  But when the priest spotted me sitting there in the dark (he had been in there and hadn't noticed me yet) and asked if I was there for confession and I told him yes, it was my first time and he asked if I was nervous--BAM!  I was nervous again.  (I later told my husband this must have been what happened to him before we got married.  He said people were asking him constantly if he was nervous.  Which he wasn't until people were asking.)  I asked if it was with the screen or face-to-face.  He said it was easier face-to-face and I said, for who?

He told me where to go and said he needed to finish up filling the holy water so I waited in the chapel.  An older couple came in and the three of us sat there for awhile.  I guess they assumed I would go in first.  I told them to go ahead.  Then while they were each going, another older man came in.  I let him go in front of me too.  When he came out he told me that the priest was very nice.  I guess the priest must have wondered aloud what was taking me so long :-)  So I went in next.  And I did the face-to-face.  And you know?  It might have been easier.  I guess I don't have anything to compare it to, but I think he may have been right.  (Takes a lot for me to be able to admit that.)  He gave me this long talk about why we do confession and then when I gave him my list he didn't bat an eye.  Then he asked me to count how many things were on the list.  Fifteen.  (I wrote gluttony twice.  What does that say about me?)  Then he asked me to say fifteen good things I've done.  I came up with 3.  He talked about how it was easy for us to think of the bad things we've done and forget the good.  And then he gave me a very minor penance for all those years of sin.  On my way out I apologized to the one man sitting in there for taking so long and told him I had a lot to say since it was my first time.

I wondered if I'd be one of those people who feels amazingly different afterward but I can't say that I did.  However, I did feel like whenever my mind drifted to a past sin that it seemed there was now a mental block on it--like my mind can't travel down the path to that memory.  I'm known for remembering everything so I think that's probably significant.

Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas just happened to post about her first confession today, too!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! I'm super nervous about my first confession and this just made me feel SO much better!

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    1. Oh, I'm glad I helped! Let me know how yours goes if you don't end up blogging about yours!

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  2. I never do face-to-face unless I have to (at a penance service when there aren't enough confessionals). I really feel so much better after confession, but it wasn't always like that, so you may feel like that someday. I still get very nervous! Many people do. That may never go away, but it's always worth it. I should probably find a different parish to confess at because I always end up confessing to the priest that also happens to be my boss and that's a little bit difficult!

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    1. I can't imagine confessing to my boss, Mandi! It's funny that you said that though because I just recently found out I might be working in the future at the school at the church where I went, so maybe I will be running into that priest at work!

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