One of the big problems in my life is I have a hard time getting personal about myself. I often come off as being very stuck up or aloof to people who first meet me because of this. As you'll find out later this has more to do with other things than a general character flaw. I've been thinking this over for quite a while now, and especially over Lent, and I'm going to try and be more personable on my blog here. Now I don't mean lamenting over the weather or my pets (I don't have any btw) but I mean talking about more personal topics rather than just posting book reviews day in and day out. I have many things I'd like to talk about and instead of starting another blog which will cause severe problems for me as I've already tried and failed at juggling more than one content-heavy blog, I'm going to try out chatting here on days I don't have book reviews to post. I read many of your blogs that are a mixture of books and posts about your hardships and successes and opinions that I hope you'll also find that addition here interesting rather than tedious.
So seeing as today is Sunday. Today's topic will be religious. This past Easter my husband, myself and our 8yo became Catholic and this last Friday I gave my first Reconciliation (most commonly referred to as confession). Wow, what an experience! Our teacher at RCIA class had said that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the one that people most dread and yet it is the most beautiful one to experience and she was so right! Many people who are not Catholic have a misconception that Catholics are confessing their sins to a priest. This is not so. We confess our sins to God, just like all other Christians but the act of confessing out loud to another human being is humbling. Jesus came to us on earth to experience the fullness of being human. He knows what it feels like to be human and how hard it is to not sin and how hard it is to humble oneself and to feel that one is truly forgiven by God. Confession humbles us and adds a human component to asking forgiveness from God and a total awareness of having been forgiven.
I trembled, my voice broke and I cried a little as I confessed. Then when Father spoke to me his words were so filled with love and tenderness I cried as he told me of ways I could possibly try to work on a select few of my sins. The prayers he said over me, the absolution of my sins was a huge weight of relief that I felt gently lifting off my shoulders and I felt a joy I haven't felt for a very long time. His final prayer was so beautiful I knew that I had just experienced the most wonderful moment of my life, this and the moment that each of my children came into this world are the days I will never forget, as long as I live.
The last part of Reconciliation is to be given a penance. Father said my penance as a new Easter Catholic was to say an "Our Father" and then reflect upon this statement "God loves me so much that he gave his one and only son for me" and while I reflected on that to think of wee (my 8yo) and how much I love him and multiply that love by 10 trillion times and that is how much God loves me. I was to do this for 15 minutes and then finish with another "Our Father". Then I proceeded to the front of the church, knelt in the pews and gave my penance. A totally heart-wrenching, joy-filled 15 minutes.
I am so glad to have written this moment down. It was so beautiful for me. I'll never forget my first Reconciliation. Thanks for reading.