It’s my church’s turn for Penitential Service tonight. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s basically a confession en mass. A good number of priest were spread across the church, everyone will have to queue and then go for confession.
I am a sinner. But, honestly, it’s been a long time since I last went for any confession and I’ve been burdened by it for a while now. So, I was really nervous and excited for today. In preparation, I even googled “how to prepare for confession.” Thereafter, I went for mass and a quiet reflection – listing down my sins. I just wanted for things to go well and to have a proper confession.
But, it hit me. It’s not about remembering your sins, memorising the dialogue phrases, or getting your preferred priest (though the first is important still). The most wonderful thing about going for confession is experiencing God’s graceful forgiveness. It’s what He gracefully, continuously, endlessly does regardless of what we’ve done. You may miss a sin, committed a grave one, forget the act of contrition, or get a priest you’re uncomfortable with but Him forgiving you will never change. His mercy is unwavering – not like, “Oh. I don’t feel like forgiving you today.” Or “wait. I need time to absorb how you’ve hurt me again before I can forgive you.” No. He will forgive you there and then, no further questions asked, and even offer to help you in moving forward. Indeed, the whole practice is less about confession and more about reconciliation (we should really call it that more often) – of prodigal children being welcomed back by God. How amazing, huh?
And now, it’s finally done! I’m feeling so fresh and liberated. Paying lip service to the mistakes I’ve done and actions I’m ashamed off is like cleaning my heart and putting Him in the centre of it all again. Plus, when I completed my penance and gave my thanks, I felt more in tune with Him. I missed that – I missed Him. It reminds me of this quote,
When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others—not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.
– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
And, I guess, now I’m back… So, brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s a few more days before Holy Friday. Do visit your nearest parish and be reconciled with Him.
(Image Source: Ohhdamn Little Wildroses)