Monday, June 09, 2008

Confession


At Mass yesterday, Fr. preached on the interior life. Of the importance of, the role of, the Sacraments, particularly of receiving the Eucharist reverently and of going to Confession regularly.

When I first became a Catholic, in 1995, I became a bit of a Confession junkie (blushes) . It felt so freeing to be rid of past and current and always- still-being-committed sins. To talk before God, to receive the graces of the sacrament, to listen to the priest's counsel. To do penance.

I'd always come out of the Confessional happy!

I used to go to Confession weekly.

Now I go to Confession monthly , as a general rule. Sometimes I go more often, because I really need to ( more blushes - you don't wanna know my habitual sins~!) !
I encourage the kids to go to Confession monthly, too.

Fr. talked about how this sacrament helps with building our interior life ~ the Examination of Conscience, the act of confessing our sins and of holding ourselves accountable for our thoughts/words/deeds, the Graces we receive in the sacrament.

The homily also inspired us to look at how we are in Mass - do we arrive in time for Mass, do we take time to prepare ourselves for Mass, do we have a time for reflection and thanksgiving after Communion and after Mass?

Fr. acknowledged that there are always difficulties and exceptions, that he was not pointing his finger at anyone, that he knew the demands of family life - family needs, children, non Christian spouses - but he also admitted that he has A RESPONSIBILITY, A CALL TO CHALLENGE US. In spite of difficulties, we should try to receive Jesus reverently and to pray, in spite of and amidst our distressing or busy or stressful situations, even if the situation is not ideal, even if it means praying while driving late for Mass again, for example.
Progression not perfection, as they say in one of my yoga DVDs, the one with the Spice Girl Geri Halliwell .

Over the years, I've missed many a homily, many Communions, simply because I have been outside tending to the needs of a child. Or sitting at the back of the church, feeding a baby. It has been okay. I have still prayed. I have tried to be there spiritually, even when rushed.

But I do struggle to always remains reverent. I have a natural irreverence. :-( I have a tendency to see things as funny - yes, during Mass, and everywhere. Got me into big trouble at school. I simply see the humourous side of life.

So, Fr.'s homily was challenging for me. And probably challenging for others, too. In a good way. In a spirit of caring for parishioners.

We don't always go to Mass to hear nice things, to hear funny stories, to hear gentle or banal platitudes, do we? We go to Mass to worship God. We receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we hear the word of God, we listen to a homily . Isn't it good for a priest, a spiritual father, to challenge us, out of love?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

1 And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee; and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Second Corinthians 6:1-2

The Douay-Rheims Bible online.
I'm sure Fr. will cop some flack for his challenging homily but I wonder. Maybe, if we treated priests with kindness, there would be less burn out amongst priests? Maybe there'd even be more vocations? Maybe we should not take things so personally and get angry but should have an open heart, to try to listen to what God may be saying in the Scripture readings, in the Gospel and through the homily.
Mmm. Hug a priest today! ( Not! Just be friendly and kind and respectful...)
Steps off soap box to look at working on her own interior life....Frack, that is hard! - to quote Battlestar Galactica...

1 comment:

Beate said...

We reflected a lot on the gift of this wonderful sacrament throughtout my week at CGS training. One point we pondered - the first thing we confess is who God is! Hmmm...you're making me ponder a whole blog on this lecture ;-) Give me time Lord......