For a while, that was my main takeaway from the Sacrament of Penance: I always appreciated the way I felt afterwards. I think, subconsciously, whether or not I considered it to be a “good” confession was largely bound up in those feelings.
A few years ago, though, there was a plot twist. Now, instead of just feeling lighter after confession, I actually feel burdened.
Yes, I encounter Jesus Christ more personally than I ever could without the Sacrament. Yes, I am completely absolved of my sins, both grave and small. Yes, I am back in communion with the Body of Christ, and what was broken or missing in my relationships with God and others is restored. Yes, when I go to Reconciliation each month, Jesus wins my heart back.
But with the lightness of freedom comes the burden of responsibility: I need to get it right this time. I’m back on the winning team now, and we can’t afford for me to be shooting at the wrong goal. There are too many souls at stake.
To get me back in the game and doing what I was born to do, God uses both the lightness of freedom and the burden of responsibility. What good is being unchained if I’m just going to sit in my prison cell? I am forgiven, so I must go and sin no more. I am healed, so I can’t just take up my mat and walk; I better be walking, leaping, and praising God! I have the wonderful burden of inviting everyone else to walk in the light…ness.
If it has been more than a month since your last Confession, why don’t you check outMasstimes.org? It will tell you when the parishes in your area offer it. Be sure to double check the info with the parish, then get in there!
Written by: Kelly O’Brien