Last week I made my way to St. Peter’s in the Loop to go to Confession. I waited patiently, sort of, for the person to come out of the Reconciliation Room. The wait seemed forever, making me wonder what the person did or what the priest was like. The priest was an absolute delight.
I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation, commonly called Confession, because it keeps me grounded and realistic as to the ways I can deceive myself. They are many. Confession helps me to unearth my deceits and rationalizations in how I’m living... or not living the gospel. The purpose of confession is not the confession of sins, which are pretty much the same after countless confessions. The whole thrust of this much maligned and misunderstood Sacrament is to receive the gift of Sanctifying Grace, God’s passionate mercy filling the heart with tears of joy.
The sins may very well be the same, but hopefully, i'm a different person, just a bit further along the way to holiness. When Jesus freed the paralytic in the gospel, the true freedom occurred when he forgave the man his sins. The man’s “crippled spirit” was dancing more joyfully than his healed body. There was a “sprite” in his ability to walk and there was a “dance” in his heart.
I walked out of my Confession not thinking too much about my ability to walk, but I left there with a joy that is finding expression in these words to you.