27 April 2011

Reflecting on the past Lent

Among other things, this Lent I resolved to go to Confession every other week, and I stuck to it. 

Confessing is not my favourite thing in the world to do.  As I said to Sheepcat and his lovely wife a few weeks back, going out of my way to find someone and tell them I was wrong goes entirely against my nature, but I made the effort. Part of the problem is that my sins are so, well, boring, and I pretty much confess the same stuff every time.  I can't even come up with an interesting way to put my immortal soul in danger. I confess, resolve to do better, hold out for a month or two, sometimes more, sometimes less, and then I am right back into it again.

In general, I find temptation comes in two kinds: strong and weak.  Strong ones feel like temptation has be by the shirt and is shaking me back and forth as it screams at me "DO IT! DO IT, I SAY!"  Oddly enough, I find that temptation easier to resist.  It's that little bat whisper in the ear that catches me off guard at the wrong moment that gives me the most trouble.

But this year I decided  I would take my usual sins to the confessional with me more often.  I used to wonder if the priest ever got bored in confession, but then I remembered something one of the priestly bloggers once wrote- I believe it was Fr. Eric,- to the effect that, after so many years as a priest, the only sins he could think of off the top of his head that he hadn't heard were kidnapping and cannibalism.  Trust me, he said in conclusion, I am in no hurry to hear an 'interesting' confession.

As Lent progressed, I noticed something strange:  temptation really wasn't bothering me.  It seemed to have left for a time.  Perhaps it was some measure of Grace bestowed upon me.  Perhaps the thought of going to a priest and saying that in the last two weeks I have done such and such, and imagining him to be thinking "Couldn't you hold out for two weeks?" as I did so strengthened my resolve.  Whether the one or the other or both, I've realized something:  though it goes against my nature, I need to go more often, and make this regular. 

Another priest once told me that I should go, even if I have nothing to confess, if only to thank God for the Grace He has given me for the time between sacraments.  I should have listened to him earlier.

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