After driving past the local Catholic church, I begin to think about the process of confession. I have heard that they call it "reconciliation" these days. I have also heard that some churches don’t even use the screens anymore. What’s up with that?!
I don’t know if I could handle watching the priest’s face as I list off my bad choices in life. I have found much comfort hiding behind the safety screen. Without the screen, I would have to have an invisible priest so that I could not see the reaction on his face when I spoke. Better yet, I would like an imaginary priest who could take my confession right now.
If that was possible, what I would say? Of course I would begin in the usual way. Well, I’m not really sure if it is the "usual" way anymore. It seems that a lot has changed over the years. Regardless, I would begin like this:
"Forgive me Father for I have sinned."
"It has been…MANY years since my last confession." *deep breath*
Okay, now is the part where I am to list my sins. I think hard. Surely in 15-20 years there ought to be quite a list of sins to confess. But my list is short.
"I failed to recognize cancer in my husband until it was too late."
"I sometimes have angry thoughts towards myself and others."
"I surf the Internet on work time."
"I am less patient with others [such as the IDIOT driver ahead of me]."
This is where my list ends.
I remember being a little girl and waiting for my turn in the little closet sized room. In my head I would go through my list of "sins" that I had committed in the prior days. I used to be able to come up with a minimum of 3 things back then. That was only in a week’s time. Of course, it always seemed to be the same list. Perhaps saying X number of Our Fathers and X number of Hail Mary’s wasn’t doing the trick. More likely, it was my list of sins.
"I jumped on the bed when my mother told me not to."
"I hit my brother…but he hit me first."
"I licked the frosting off of Big Sis’ birthday cake and then lied about it."
Perhaps they weren’t really "sins" at all.
Today, my imaginary priest is left perplexed. He is thinking that in this amount of life much more damage should have occurred. I agree. I am far from perfect.
I think for a minute, and then said, "No. That is all."
Sure, there were things that needed to be considered and evaluated. In the end, I brushed them off as not being sins at all. *sigh* It is time to get up with times. Gone are the days of making up your list of sins.
My priest instructed me to pray one round of the rosary. [I think that I remember how to do that properly.]