Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Grace of Reconciliation

What a Sacrament

I have written a new piece over at Life in the Spirit, about my experiences with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I am sure that you will get a chuckle out of my first experience at age 5 with the sacrament, and I hope that you will relate to my more recent experiences, and a very special one a number of years ago, as well.

Christmas is about God reconciling us to Himself, by sending His Son to earth in human form, to show us the Way, the Truth and the Life. Part of that life for Catholic Christians is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and it is a beautiful part of our walk of faith.

1 comment:

Joshua S. said...

Very amusing story, Michael. I only wish my own experience of confession was as amusing.

I was 10 years old the last time I went to confession as a Catholic. I, too, found myself adrift in the "sin" category. I wasn't a perfect child, but I was extremely well raised and disciplined by a loving grandmother. As such, and with Good Friday approaching, I sat down and "came up with" a few sins to confess - just for good form, you understand.

His name was Father Lalonde. I commenced my confession with the usual protocol: "Bless me Father for I have sinned. it has been X months since my last confession..."

I went on to describe my little invented sins: I disobeyed my parents a few times; I said "bad words" on occasion; I had been mean to my little baby brother a number of time.

Father Lalonde stopped me. "How MANY times?" he asked.

"I don't keep a list, Father," I explained. "My gran always says to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative."

"You should keep such a list," replied Father lalonde. "Little boys like you are EVIL by nature, don't you see that? Jesus knows you are evil. That's why you must confess monthkly, and KNOW exactly how often you have sinned, and what kind of sins you committed. If you don't, you will remain an evil boy and you will burn in Hell for all eternity."

I SO wish I was kidding. I am not. I left the confessional that day, never to return.

But I do - to this day - confess my sins directly to Jehovah on an "as needed" basis. And I receive absolution directly from my Lord and Saviour.

I have regretted for many years the "mistake" who was Father Lalonde. He singlehandedly drove a 10 year old GOOD LAD from the Romam Catholic Church.

Michael, I would completely understand if you were not to post this because it makes you uncomfortable. As I have explained to you personally, I would genuinely appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue with a Catholic priest in the "here and now". But as it is, Father Lalonde remains the "priest" that I think of whenever i think of "Roman Catholic priest". It IS a pity, I know. But I suppose that is what happens when a good Catholic is subjected to spiritual abuse by a priestly troglodyte.