Saturday, December 15, 2007

Going to confession.

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.


  1. When you're feeling your worst, that's when He's even closer to you -

    Forget the smokes - they're a temporary disgusting-tasting band-aid - & dreading Confession is like a trick to keep you away... go anyway -

    & you'll be better a lot better & relieved when you get back:)

  2. Ter: I will pray for you. Please pray for me. I'll be at Confession today as well.

    You are doing so well quitting smoking-don't give up!!!

    Don't give up on the spiritual either. Well, I know you won't. You are right about the humbling aspect of confession. You put a point on it that I had not considered before.

  3. Terry-

    How I wish I could give you my own sins to pass on to Him while you are in there. Clearly that is not possible. I, too, need to go to confession. It's been a while.

    I promise you this: Next Saturday I will take myself into the confessional and make my sins known. I will be comforted by the fact that you went through the same thing the week before.

    BTW, everything you wrote about the nature of sin as we get older is absolutely true.

    God bless you and in my prayers,

  4. When I was a kid, I hated to go to confession. There was a piest in our town who didn't speak English. I would always go to him if I could, because I felt I could tell him anything. I was pretty bummed when he went back to his native country.

  5. What rhapsody said. And Cathy too!

  6. Adoro5:09 PM

    It was David who asked to know his hidden sins...what a prayer of humility!

    And I've noticed the same thing...I don't think it's age so much as just a certain awareness that comes when you're confronted with yourself through the writings of the Saints or deep delves into theology.

    And I'm having a hard time making that deep examination of conscience, even as I recognize something, I forget something else, and I leave Confession feeling like I've forgotten a shopping list...and I have!

    Another reason I need spiritual direction....and may find one soon. For real. God's grace is in action.

    Keep up the good fight...smoking is hard to quit. You're in my prayers.

  7. You're in my prayers, Terry.

    And leave those cancer sticks alone!
    God is all the fix you need.

  8. "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends." - It's A Wonderful Life.

    Thanks everyone. I made it to confession and I didn't smoke. And I am soooooooo happy.

    Thanks to my friends!

    United in prayer,


  9. Do not say you "quit" smoking. That means you gave up something good. Just refer to yourself as a non-smoker! As in, yipee!!!!! I'm a non-smoker!

  10. Annie Hall10:28 PM

    So very true. Sometimes I'm standing in line and I feel like I'm going to break out in a sweat. It is so hard! And, I would rather go in and confess "I had an affair" or I comitted adultery" or something like that rather than confess the sins against love and charity. When I'm standing in line it always seems to me that those sins of the flesh might seem so "understandable" because anyone can have a moment of weakness and fall... But the other ones... the ones!!! They show our true hiddeous inner self, our rotten soul....
    I should have gone today, too. And I didn't. Maybe I should stay in my seat tomorrow :(

  11. Yay, you went! I need to go now and ditto to all you said....I am waiting to go in the US ...we're leaving in a couple days. I had a really bad experience with it here in India, so I have been waiting. Hope I don't get hit by a truck, or that my plane doesn't crash or something before I get a chance to go!!! Pray for me...and for my daughter, that we go!

    In Christ,

  12. Certainly will...perhaps i'll join you & go myself!

  13. Georgette: I will pray for safe travels for you!

    Tom: I will remember you in my prayers!


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