Sunday, May 18, 2014

Matthew Kelly's 7 Pillars: Confession

We are over half way over the Easter Season and I am back online. I am working on a new look and name for the blog.  I, however, did not want to leave everyone hanging on the summarization of Matthew Kelly's book "Rediscover Catholicism."  Last time (on Mardi Gras) I talked about Living an Authentic Life.  Now I want to focus on doing that. 

Your faith starts with you!  It is an inward sign that when we live the authentic life is expressed outwardly.  That sounds familiar doesn't it?  Isn't that the definition of a sacrament?!  Yes it is!!  In the 7 Pillars Kelly discusses how we can live our lives in relation to Christ and celebrate His love for us. 
Pillar 1 Confession:  Scary word...scary event....just scary.  I know people that shy away from confession for a variety of reasons. "The priest will never speak to me again."  "I can tell God directly." I hate to tell you everyone but confession is exactly how Jesus tells us to tell God our sins.  Jesus said "Repent, for the kingdom of heave is at hand." Matthew 3:2.  And trust me the priests have heard it all!

This is an opportunity to speak to God directly.  Within confession the priest stands in for Jesus.  You are talking to Jesus directly!!  What could be more amazing than that.  Jesus laid hands on His disciples and sent them out in twos to redeem the world.  Throughout that more and more priests/disciples were created by the laying of hands and Jesus says that they can forgive sins. Kelly talks about how confession is a cleansing experience for us.  We can talk through our sins.  If we are bringing the same sins over and over why is that happening?  It is important that we have a regular confessor.  Confession allows us, as Kelly likes to say, become the best version of yourself.  Make a good confession, learn something about your soul, apologize and move on and start fresh.  What a beautiful gift!!

We can practice this at home too.  Teach our children to say they are sorry way before their first confession in the church.  When our children do wrong by someone make sure they acknowledge their wrong, and apologize. Then from there a punishment of time out etc. can be laid out.  It is the same thing in confession.  We list our sins, apologize and do penance.  By the time it is time for confession at church it will be less scary and a part of their every day life. 

Confession is required by the church at least once a year.  If that is going to be your minimum try doing it during Lent.  Then you can start the Easter season fresh.  If you plan on going more frequent put it in your calendar. Then it is part of your schedule to never forget to go.  Go as you need.  We are all sinners, and sometimes, okay lots of times, I have gone in thinking I had sinned and I hadn't.  But from the practice of regular confession I have really learned to analyze my actions and give them great thought on their impact.  If you are afraid, tell the priest.  He is just happy you showed up!  It can get lonely in there.  He will talk you through it, step by step.  He is there to be there for you.  Give the priest that chance. 

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