I need a cigarette.
I'm going to confession today. I'm very nervous about it for some reason. Well, mainly because it's hard to confess sometimes. I know we are confessing to Christ, but the priest is a guy, and he has to listen to what we have to say. Strangely enough, when you get to be my age, my sins seem more shameful. I think it is because at my age I always thought I should know better, or I should be more mature and not commit such stupid sins. What I think I'm saying is that I equate maturity with perfection - and on some level that is true - but being older doesn't guarantee maturity or perfection - as evidenced by my blogs.
The thing about sin however, especially when you get older, is that you are keenly aware of how deliberate it is. If other 'mature' men are like me, sins against chastity used to be the principal sin everyone confessed. Hence the shame and embarrassment thing was pretty much a given. But nowadays, the sins seem to be less carnal and more spiritual - therefore it's a different type of shame and guilt. (As most Catholics know, confession not only takes away the sin, but the shame, and the guilt as well.)
The awful truth.
Having said that, the spiritual combat seems much more vicious now that I'm older - and deals directly with the theological virtues, to be sure - but even more so, with the root sins that have plagued us all of our lives. (I think the psalmist referred to these when he prayed, "from my hidden sins acquit me O Lord.) Our "big" sins of intemperance, or sins against chastity, often eclipsed these deeper, darker, nasty sins of pride, envy, jealousy, rancor, lying, sloth - oh, the list goes on and on. In other words, the sins, the combat, becomes more spiritual - and therefore seems to me to be more deadly.
Which brings me back to my point. Confession seems more difficult at times because we are really laying bare our soul to its very depths, and more often than not, to a much younger man. Even the devil doesn't have access to this level of our being. Whatever. I'm going to confession. I think I need humility and deeper contrition - please pray for me.
Gosh - I could sure use a cigarette.