16 April 2006

Well, it's official...

You sure can't beat the Saturday Sacrament Trifecta Special... Reconciliation (most people call it Confession, but that's only one part of the sacrament), Confirmation, and Communion all in one day. Badda-boom, badda-bang. I was actually looking forward to Confession, but that didn't mean I wasn't nervous about it. Three of us went Saturday morning and it had to be hilarious watching us being so cordial with each other. First, one lady had to use the restroom, so she skidattled out of the sanctuary for a minute, leaving me and this other guy. So I said, "I don't know if you have to be anywhere, so if you need to, go on ahead of me."

And he replied, "Oh, I've got all day! You go ahead."

"Well, I might be in there a while..."

"Take as long as you want!"

Then the other lady comes back and I'm sure she was hoping somebody would already be in the confessional by then, but we're still out there talking about who should go first. We really should've played paper-rock-scissors for it.

But it really wasn't that bad. I had a pretty good list written down on my piece of paper (not that I'm trying to brag...), but once I started reading them off, it didn't feel like more than two minutes before I was done. There were a couple of things that I wanted to mention specifically, where I could have simply alluded to them by saying something like, "yeah... I've struggled with lust." After all, that could be a million different things. But getting specific with your sins ain't easy. My voice stuttered and my left knee was jumpin' up and down... I hadn't been that nervous since asking a girl out for senior prom, but I just ignored it all and focused on being as honest as possible (without getting into details, of course). Of course, God provided the grace and courage; I was simply open to it, as opposed to the many times when I'm trying to cover something up or make something I did wrong not sound as bad as it really is.

So after that was all over with, I didn't feel anything real miraculous, but it was very comforting to know that everything I've done was just wiped clean and forgotten. In the past, it's always been difficult to "feel" clean just because I'm aware of my sinful nature and how susceptible I am to straying from God and falling into old patterns. When you can remember much of what you've done and the people your sin has affected remember what you've done, it's difficult to imagine that God can forget everything and make us clean as the day we were born (if not cleaner, since baptism washes away the stain of original sin).

And not only that, but we are counted worthy to receive Christ not just spiritually, but physically. Think about how dangerous the Holy of Holies was. Only one priest was allowed to enter every year so that he could make the annual sacrificial offering of Israel's sins (I'll have to look up what that offering was called). If he didn't perform the ritual correctly, stayed in God's Presence too long, or whatever, the wrath of God would kill him. I've heard they even tied a rope around the priest's ankle so that if he died, another priest from outside the curtain could drag his body out. Now, under the New Covenant, God humbles Himself under the appearances of bread and wine so that every person can enjoy the most intimate communion in God's Presence that was never possible under the Old Covenant. Pretty cool stuff :)


Brother Charles said...

Congratulations, and every blessing in your new sacramental life.

It's been almost 14 years for me, by the grace of God!

Spider in a Mason Jar said...

Jason, Congratulations, and God bless you. The sacraments are indescribably wonderful. God's hand is certainly there. I wish you well in the next chapter in your Life with Jesus.