Some of you might wonder….why in the world is Mark meditating on Reconciliation? I’m glad you asked. In my role as Spiritual Director for our parish’s Men’s CRHP team, we just hit formation session eight…Reconciliation (see? full circle!). Here are my thoughts.
First, please understand – I am a convert. As such, I think I tend to have a slightly different take on some things. All Converts do, I find. Reconciliation is one of the Four (Five?) Reasons I Joined The Church. The others being Eucharist, Apostolic Succession and beeswax candles (ehh…no. Faith and Reason Together). All of my young adult life I had asked other Christians, “how do I know I am forgiven?” The myriad of answers astounded me. “Believe and receive” was the most popular, follwed with, “you just KNOW”. Umm…OK. So, when I first went to Confession, and the priest (in persona Christe) said, “your sins are forgiven,” I almost jumped for joy! Imagine! I finally KNEW!! Why? Christ told me HIMSELF!! I skipped home that day, it was so liberating!!
This begs the question then…why don’t I hit Reconciliation weekly? After all, we hit the Eucharist weekly, some of us more often than that. For me, it’s all about being honest with myself, brutally honest. If I go and confess sins, that means I have to admit, to myself and to one other, that I’m not perfect, I’m a sinner. I’m not the great guy I think I really am. Deep down, yeah, I love my wife, but….wow…some of the people I see…well…they look REALLY good! Or…I have to admit that…deep down…I think maybe I’m better than someone else. That’s heavy. I have to face up to the ugliness I hide within myself, and nobody likes to do that. But the whole time I’m thinking, “you know, I really do NOT want to face all this” the Spirit is saying, “face it, admit it, and move on…all will be well…trust me”.
To know that I can go to Christ, tell Him, “Ummm…yeah…about last week…” and to hear Him reply, “I know. I was there. I forgive you. Now go, strive to do better.” That’s HUGE.
My brother had the same reaction, although I’d imagine he’s now like me and doesn’t go to Reconciliation as often as he’d like. We allow the urgent to overtake the important.
I think this week I’ll go and confess. It’s really been way too long. I challenge the rest of the team to pray, think, meditate and consider going to Reconciliation too. I’ll go Friday, in uniform, to Holy Trinity in downtown Evansville, then to Mass. I know I need it.