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Thursday, May 7, 2009
Remember going to Confession?
I am a Catholic child of the 60's, and I remember well those First Friday's, lining up with my classmates, ready to go to Confession. If you don't remember the confessional, check out the image above. The confessional in my Church had red and green lights. When someone was inside kneeling, the light was red. When vacant, the light was green. Confession was never face to face. The priest was in a small "closet" room sitting behind a screen, you were on the other side. As you entered the booth, the screen window opened. "Bless me Father for I have sinned."
It was mysterious. Penance was usually three Hail Mary's, Three Our Fathers, and Three Glory Be's - and maybe washing the dishes for a week. I must admit, we all were a bit nervous waiting on that line. Would we be scolded? I never was, I think for me it was always a good experience. And I did feel that I was forgiven, and I was refreshed. Today, very few people are going to confession. I can only assume that there are very few sinners?, as EVERYONE is receiving Holy Communion. Pope Benedict says that a sense of sin has been lost. Without this Sacrament of Penance, how will we recognize God's love and mercy?
Today, now in my 50's, I am still going to Confession. My confessor is a Benedictine monk from Sri Lanka. He is a holy man - and after my confession, I still feel refreshed, enjoying God's Love and His never-ending mercy.
I am linking here a good article found in ZENIT, by Genevieve Pollock -
Confession Questions From the Pew -
A Pastor Speaks About Promoting and Understanding the Sacrament