Confession: Just do it.
by Samuel Cowdery |
I can’t speak for everyone, but when I came to college, I made a promise to myself to start anew and to get a handle on all my bad habits. Within four weeks of being here though, I was neck-deep in the same old vices I had in high school and had acquired some new ones as well; so much for that fresh start I had been hoping for. The disappointment of failing myself was bad enough, without even thinking about how these actions had affected my relationship with God.
So naturally, confession wasn’t very high on my list of things to do. Every so often, the motivation to go to confession would spring up after Mass or a deep conversation with a friend, but I would then proceed to freak out over what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. In addition, I was nervous if the priest would treat me differently if he knew what I had actually been doing when I wasn’t at Mass on Sundays. The thought that truly made me resistant to go to confession though, was the underlying idea that I was an unforgivable human being that didn’t deserve forgiveness anyway, so asking for it was pointless.
That discouraging thought bounced around in my head until it was pointed out to me that no one ever deserves grace, in fact, that is the definitive aspect to grace itself: it is undeserved. Confession can almost be described as a beautiful injustice, because it is an interaction where undeserving and guilty people receive forgiveness and freedom instead of punishment.
I remember going to my first confession at UP quite vividly, mostly because I was so nervous that my teeth were chattering together and my feet wouldn’t stop twitching. There was a small queue of people sitting in chairs in front of me, and every time someone went in and it grew closer to my turn, I would start twitching even more (it also didn’t help that the gal right before me walked out in tears).
When my turn finally arrived, I walked in and entirely blanked on the protocol, I felt like a complete moron to be honest, but the priest was super understanding and walked me through it one step at a time. When the sacrament concluded, I was walking on air. It was like my whole being had been breathing through a straw and I hadn’t realized it until now. The greatest part of the experience though, was regaining the feeling of a fresh start I had wanted, and unlike leaving for college, the promise of forgiveness and transformation through confession is available as often as the need for it exists. So if you are feeling like it’s been too long, or what you’ve done is unforgivable, please consider giving God the chance to prove you wrong. Just do it.
Samuel Cowdery is a freshman environmental science major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.