Tuesday, October 27, 2015

When Confession Doesn't Feel Great...

On the way into work today, I heard an ad for Confession. It was a nice little tale of how Confession helps us to feel "like a hundred pound weight has been lifted off our shoulders," and how even though it can feel scary if we haven't been for a while, it's totally worth it and we should go.

First, let me say that I completely agree with that. Confession does feel good, most of the time, and encouraging Catholics to get to Confession so they can feel the healing power of God's grace is a huge positive.

However, I'm once again feeling called to give a voice to the voiceless.

These types of messages are important and necessary, but they also are a part of the "glamorization of Catholicism" that I think can be a tad counterproductive.

This message, that Confession is awesome all the time and that it will help you to feel better all the time, can lead to some folks who don't always have that experience feeling kind of crappy, like they are doing something wrong.

I liken it to the general messages we hear about NFP.

We often hear all the amazing stuff about a life of NFP without being told about the difficulty, the sacrifices, and the not-so-flowery aspects.

To be clear, I don't always feel awesome about Confession. I don't always feel relieved, strengthened, and closer to God.

I do most times, but not all the time.

And that's okay.

If Catholicism teaches us anything, and if anything about the faith gives us comfort, it's that our feelings are not always in alignment with reality.

While I can sometimes feel crappy and depressed after Confession, I can take joy in the fact that I know something amazing happened even though it doesn't feel that way.

That's the power of Confession.

Not that it feels great to share your weaknesses with another person, or even with God, but that despite the feelings of guilt and sadness over our actions and our fears that we will repeat those actions, something amazing happens.

We are forgiven. We are empowered. We are changed.

That's a real message that I can buy into.

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