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April 21, 2011

Coming Clean

We did our first reconciliation last night, this was the thing I was the most nervous about, and caused the most apprehension. Our group did a standard reconciliation service, with everyone going together as a single event. We just didn’t really feel comfortable with that. So we set up a private appointment at our local parish (RCIA is run at a different parish, which makes things a little confusing sometimes).

We arrived to a dark and empty church, oddly quiet and still. Father Chuey was already seeing the few that came for confession, so we sat and waited. Out of nowhere a woman approached us and started talking about her experience, it had been a long time since she had done a confession and was so moved she wanted to share. I think it was divine providence, what better example for someone doing this for the first time, nervous, scared, than to have a soul who was overflowing with joy at feeling so clean.

It made the waiting easier, I told Michelle that we must look like the church information service, because we always get approached with questions (and we aren’t official members yet). Michelle was going to go first, because I was still stressing about doing this. But God intervened and I got invited first, so with fear and trepidation I went in. I was so befuddled that I couldn’t even recall everything I needed to. So I covered the big ones, we talked, and the father, insightful as always. Told me to forgive myself, do my penance and move onto serving God. I would not say I was glowing when I left, but I wondered if Protestants actually understood what they where missing. The whole sacrament allowed me to move on, to start letting go of things that where poisoning my faith. I did feel cleaner, and I intend to do this again. It will now be part of my normal routine, what a blessing, and next time I’ll know what to say :)

Michelle and I when younger made some mistakes that have haunted us for years, finally we were able to get those out of the way. It had a big impact on us, Father Chuey showed such compassion in his advice and understanding and gently guided us through the whole process. So now on the other side, I’m finding again the simple beauty of the Catholic orthopraxy (right practice), my sponsor mentioned he goes once a quarter to confession. I’m thinking that’s not enough for all the trouble I can cause, and I like that our service was quiet and allowed me time to reflect and just be still.

We sat in the car and shed some tears together, finally able to put behind us things that have been on our hearts together for a long long time. We both feel like we are finally coming home, I only wish my Protestant brothers and sisters would stop and actually learn what the Catholic actually teaches, and be open to the blessing it has to offer. We are now believers in what the sacrament of reconciliation can really do in the lives of believers.

Now onto Easter Sunday and our finally partaking in the Eucharist, it’s been a long time getting here. And the journey is just beginning….

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