"Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession." (Mohandas Gandhi)
Overall, this has been an amazing week! On Monday we found out that Kendall has been accepted to Belmont Abbey College for the Fall Semester! I know he is thrilled out of his mind, but I’m not sure who is more excited: me, or him! I was so worried about getting it all right with his transcript, and it is such a huge relief to know that it all worked out well. I have actually homeschooled my son for 13 years, and now he is going to college! WooHoo! A homeschool success story! Today we got a packet in the mail with more info, and this one informed him that he has received the Abbot Leo Haid Award, valued at $4,000. I was blown away! God is so good!
Also, today, after twenty-something years of being away from the Church, my mother ‘came home’! She received the Sacrament of Reconciliation this afternoon and then went to Mass and received Holy Communion. Wow. I cannot express how much it means to me that Mom has actually gone back to the Church. We both heard so many lies and misconceptions about Catholicism when we left the Church so many years ago, and sometimes it can be really hard to overcome. But she took her time, she sought the Lord’s will, and made sure that this was the path He has for her. I know that she will be a great blessing to her Parish Community, especially since she has studied the Bible so much over the past fifteen years or so.
Alex, Faith and I also went to Confession today. I have to say that it is definitely NOT my favorite sacrament going into it, but once I’ve made the decision to go, and followed through with that, the feeling of hope and lightness that I have afterward are amazing.
I know that so many people take issue with the idea of confessing one’s sins to a priest. I understand that. There are certainly things I’d rather just keep between me and God, and honestly, some of those things I’d just as soon not talk to God about, either. But the confessional provides so much healing that can never be experienced otherwise. Just the act of actually saying, out loud, what my sins are is a healing thing. In Twelve Step Programs they like to say "You’re only as sick as the secrets you keep." I think that is so true. For some reason, actually telling someone my sins takes all the power out of them. Until I confess, the devil has a foothold he can use to convince me that I am not worthy of God’s love. But the minute I share those things with a priest and hear him say the words of absolution, I am free! And I no longer have to carry that burden around with me anymore.
This Sacrament also keeps me accountable. If I know that I am going to have to confess something, I am a lot less likely to do something offensive to God. It makes God more ‘real’ to me, makes Him more tangible, if you will. If I don’t ever have to do any more than confess in my heart, then I don’t feel as obligated to do the good. Accountability is a very healthy thing for me.
I’m not going to get into all the Scripture verses about why confessing your sins to a priest is the right thing to do. But I did look those up when we decided to go back to the Catholic Church! That was one of those things I really wanted to be sure about.
Moving on: tonight Kendall had seven friends over after dinner. They ranged from 15 years old to 20 years old. All but the 15 year-old are in college. They could have gone anywhere or done anything tonight, but they chose to come over here and hang out with us. And play cards with Gaylon, and visit with me and Mom. How cool is that? They are great kids, and I’m proud to know every one of them. (Faith wanted to know why all of her friends couldn’t come over at one time like that, LOL! I explained to her that was because I would have to go pick all of her friends up, whereas Kendall’s friends can all drive. *sigh* Her time will come!)
So anyway, tonight I am happy and peaceful. There are so many things to be grateful for, and this is one of those wonderful times that I can recognize those things clearly. So many times I get bogged down by the things that cause me stress that I don’t notice the things that bless me.