Catholics--what do you think about the sacrement of reconciliation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-30-2002, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Neither DH nor I have gone to any kind of reconciliation (private or communal) since we were kids.

I hated doing it when I was young--having to come up with something to say--invariably some kind of fight with one of my brothers.

Now our oldest DD is 10 and this is the year in our parish that they do their first reconciliation. I thought she should go through the classes so she at least knows what it is about.

The celebration of first reconciliation will be partly communal, and then we are supposed to go up to the priest as a family to discuss either, "In what situation is our family in most of need of healing?" or "In what way have I failed to be a good neighbor?"

I feel that if I wrong someone and then I reconcile with them, that is enough for me. I don't need to take that to my church. I don't really think that those kind of things are really sins. Mistakes.

I thought that things had changed, but it still sounds to me like it is that old Catholic guilt. Making us all feel bad for not being perfect, which is impossible.

Part of me doesn't want to go through with this thing. I feel really conflicted about it. My DH and I have talked about it, but he doesn't have a strong opinion. (I'm the one who gets us involved with church--he would never go if I didn't suggest it.)
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#2 of 5 Old 11-30-2002, 09:40 AM
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I didn't go for years, and have just started again, partly because I have a way different take on it now... on one level, I see it as cheap counseling. I think lots of times the things that are blocking us spiritually are blocking us in other ways too, and sometimes it helps to get that out in the open.

And I love communal services because I feel absolutely washed in God's healing love--our church is awesome, and the choir continues to sing softly, meditatively as people each confess singly, and the lights are low, and people are weeping, and priests are comforting...I was so moved by the love and saw for the first time the burden the priest as confessor takes on.

It's just a little shift away from thiniing of one's "guilt" to thinking about healing that changed the whole experience for me. Would that help you approach this differently?
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#3 of 5 Old 11-30-2002, 10:20 AM
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i don't think of it as guilt. i think of it as getting things off my chest, getting my garbage out in the open, so i don't let it fester. once i've aired my dirty laundry with god and the priest, then i don't need to waste any more time with it. i can get on with trying to honor god in all that i do, and let go of my petty offenses.

when i was a kid, confession scared the daylights out of me. i would always cry, because i was convinced i was going to hell. so i didn't go for, oh, 12 years. so i understand where you're coming from.
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#4 of 5 Old 12-01-2002, 09:13 PM
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It doesn't bother me. I don't find it neccessary for me. If I need forgiveness I speak to God myself. I don't find going to a priest helps me feel any more forgiven, but I understand that a lot of people feel better to talk to someone in a real physical sense and be reassured that God will forgive.

I'm not sure I understand the concept of Catholic guilt though. If I do something bad, I feel guilty. It isn't a matter of being Catholic, it's a matter of having a conscience.

Mom to a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a cuddly little newborn
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#5 of 5 Old 12-01-2002, 11:41 PM
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I try to go to confession at least once a month. To me, it is just so healing to talk to the priest and get my sins off my chest.

It also helps me to be repentent and work on doing better. I think it is good to talk to the priest and get their advice. My priest helps me with my sins, and leads me towards God.

I look at confession as an "oil change and tune-up" for the soul.
Just as we change the yucky, brown oil in our cars, and put in new clean oil, so does confession clean our souls of sin and we start new and afresh. Every confession is a new start.

I think there is real power in hearing the words "By the power invested in me, I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

I once heard that confession isn't confessing your sins to a priest, it is "whispering into the ear of Christ" When you go to confession, the priest is really just a physical body we can see and talk to, but we are actually confessing to Christ. Of course, you can confess to Christ without the priest there, but having someone to actually talk to helps me a lot


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