Confessing to Christ
I have made no secret that I believe that the Sacrament of Confession is critical to your success as a husband.
Thankfully, we don’t have to give ourselves over to despair.
Growing up, my family would go to Confession once a month together. It was prudent of my parents to set this time aside to go as a family. All parents have the obligation, through promises made at their wedding and at their children’s baptisms, to present opportunities for their children to grow in and live out their Catholic faith.
The thing about Confession is that it can be pretty stressful. Maybe you don’t even go to Confession at your parish because you’re afraid the priest will recognize you.
And let’s face it, at Parish Penance services, we’re all trying to get in the line for the visiting priest who is elderly and can’t hear very well.
I used to go to Confession face-to-face, but lately I have started to use the screen.
The screen has three key benefits:
1) You receive the Sacrament humbly, kneeling
2) There is nothing to distract you. You can close your eyes and envision yourself speaking to Christ, because you are
3) You take away the Devil’s opportunity to tempt to you omit sins. Shame has no power over you.
My favorite is #2. I feel that I am better able to participate in the grace of the Sacrament, along with its sensory experience, when I’m not either trying to maintain eye contact or avoid eye contact.
No matter which way you receive the Sacrament (face-to-face has merits, too!), always take your time with the Act of Contrition.
If you’re anything like me, your biggest stressor in the Sacrament is that you will forget the words to the Act of Contrition. Thankfully, parishes usually have one close at hand.
I like to take my time with the words, speaking them with feeling and connecting them to my resolve. I wouldn’t want to be in a conversation with someone who was just reading to me!
The main point is this: you have little chance of being the man you’re called to be without regularly going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s not optional. It is the tool to pick you back up and get you going back down the right road.