I was talking with someone the other day, and they shared with me about their personal experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (which I share here with permission). Imagine this adult person, who’s a highly educated and cultured professional, talking like an excited child when he gets into this particular topic:
Confession is my favorite sacrament! I feel like that’s probably heresy or something, but every time I leave the confessional I feel like the whole world within and without me is all right again. It’s like, well, you know when St Margaret Mary’s mother superior, when she was trying to test the truthfulness of Margaret’s claims to see visions of Jesus, asked Margaret to ask Jesus in the next vision what mother superior’s last confessed mortal sin was. Imagine that! I’d never have the courage. Anyway, Jesus said that absolutely amazing thing that always takes my breath away — “Tell her, I forgot.” That’s how I feel after that sacrament, even since I first went back a few years ago. Everything I do to wreck my life and others — and I do a lot! — is wiped away, cast behind His back and forgotten by God — who’s omniscient! What’s that? All that so that I can turn to Him again and look at Him, and let Him look at me without an ounce of fear or shame and just say: God, you’re awesome! I try to tell every Catholic I know: “You don’t go to Confession? What! Are you crazy? The Creator of the universe wants to forgive you your screw ups and you say, ‘nah?!'” Then they think I’m the crazy one, and maybe I am…
His witness reminded me of that profound St. Augustine quote:
In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.