Spare a thought for my husband. He’s not yet 100% comfortable in terms of making his confession in the Catholic Church (mind you are any of us ever entirely ‘comfortable’) and tonight went to his first ever service of reconciliation, prior to Easter.
I have been granted permission to blog about this, given that it was not at our local parish church or within our local cluster due to work commitments.
Mac addict that he is, he had dutifully downloaded the new confession app and was using it as a prompt whereupon the priest spied it and told him to put it away, “you don’t need a list, if you can’t remember it then it doesn’t matter, Jesus forgives all”. Whilst the priest was undoubtedly trying to be pastoral, being in his late 60s, early 70s and of the liberal school, it left my poor husband rather flummoxed, particularly when it came to saying the Act of Contrition which he has not yet memorised and needs an aide memoire, (there were no helpful cards), hence he stumbled through it rather awkwardly whilst receiving absolution.
He came away feeling that it wasn’t the most personally satisfying experience and disempowered and hindered by the priest in making his confession. He didn’t feel at an emotional level that he’d made his confession properly. On an intellectual level he knows full well that he made a confession, that he has received the sacrament and one needs to be careful not to apply a sentiment that sacraments are all about what you get out of them, but certainly the feeling of liberation following confession is an important aspect for the penitent, particularly if one has spent some time preparing.
On the plus side, at least it has prompted him that he needs to sort out a regular confessor/spiritual director at the earliest possible opportunity.
I’m wondering whether or not I’ll be allowed to use my app tomorrow; with my pregnancy hormones I can’t remember where I’ve put things five minutes previously, perhaps this ban on lists or aide memoires is a cunning ploy to get us going more often?