Thursday, June 28, 2012
The "Brave" Bench...
At my Church, OLPH, there is a bench in the vestibule where the confessional is. Usually about every week, you see almost the same people, and if you don't see them that week, it is assured you will see them in a week or two.
You exchange names, what time you go to Holy Mass, stuff like that, nothing real personal.
Thankfully it isn't like when you are in elementary school and are sent to the princpals office. You sit on that bench, waiting for your 'turn' and usually you are not alone either. I remember in grade school you would turn to your companion on the bench and say... "Watcha do?"
Someone at church called the bench outside the Confessional the "Naughty Bench". We all chuckled, but I think that is wrong. I think it should be called the "Brave Bench."
We all sin, and it is a self-inflicted illness of the soul, then why do we not use the remedy the Christ gives to us? Ergo: The Confessional.
Fear... that is why. Fear of admitting to the sin and telling it to a Priest. What are you afraid of? You can't shock a Priest, and in truth you are really confessing your sins to Jesus. If you confess something you find embarassing, the Priest is NOT going to say... "You did WHAT?!" (Thank God!). And if you have ever been to confession more than once, you learn real quick to never play poker with a priest. They have the best poker faces ever.
But if you look close in their eyes while you are confessing your sins, you will also see an unending compassion as you must imagine Christ has for us.
And the fact is that the longer you put off the Confessional, the more damage you do to your conscience and the harder it is to get back to the confessional.
The persistent presence of sins that has not been, confessed, absolved and remitted with penance (much penance... trust me) take the soul into a downward spiral of more sin and the rationalization of that sin. Such so that greater sins seem more appealing, and even good in the light of our own wants and desires. And when we seek our own wants and desires over God we break the First Commandment.
Jesus has given us a remedy for our continual illness of sin. The Confessional. It is a sacrament of love and a desire of all of His children to be reconcilled to Him.
So the bench outside the vestible isn't the "Naughty Bench". It's the "Brave Bench".
Be brave...Go to confession.
"All sins are 'gateway' sins. Slam the gate... go to Confession."