Sunday, 17 June 2018

My secret confession

I think one of the great difficulties of being a Catholic and having to go to Confession is that your local priest, who no doubt knows you from your voice, will eventually build up a picture in his mind of the type of person you are.

I mean ... can you imagine me going to my usual church, where we only have one priest, so there's no chance of spreading my sins around, and telling the same guy every time what I have done ... again!

Let's face it; how can I actually tell him that I fall asleep during his sermons?

(I don't really ... just an example to demonstrate a Catholic dilemma. Although I'll admit to noticing other people asleep, or pretending to be thinking, whilst the sermon is on. In my case, falling asleep is quickly followed by a sharp elbow in the ribs).

No ... my sin is somewhat worse than falling asleep during a sermon. I just could not bring myself to tell our priest about it. He would not see me in the same light ever again.

In order to get round this technical difficulty I decided to do something else. Now I am not sure whether this is allowed in the Catechism or not. I haven't checked.

When I was in London recently on a business trip I decided to go to a church and confess there. The priest doesn't know me ... simple. Tell him my secret sin and go away.

I told the priest in Confession that I find it difficult to be a Christian because I simply do not like people. I am not prejudiced you see. I don't like people in general.

Now before you take offence at this, let me quickly explain.

I don't like certain people mostly ... most of the time ... most of them. I like some people, of course, but not all of them.

I don't like my boss for instance because he is always in a bad mood and thinks of nothing else other than of profits and productivity.

I don't like most of my colleagues because I have nothing or little in common with them. I don't talk football with them, cricket, rugby or any other sport because I don't like sport. I don't talk politics because I know I am right and they are always wrong. I don't talk about anything else with them because none of them likes the arts, opera, ballet, the theatre or can discuss Édouard Manet's "Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe".

I don't like the newsagent where I get my papers because he is pompous and pretends to know everything. But I have to go there because he is near where I live.

I don't like the barman in our pub because ... I don't know ... I just don't like him.

I don't like the mother-in-law because of ... many reasons. In fact I like her from afar. The further away she lives, and stays there, the more I like her.

So you see why I could not confess this sin to my priest. He'd think I don't like him either.

Anyway, I told this in Confession to an unknown priest in London. He told me I should try harder to like everybody because God commanded us to love one another. Jesus loved everyone He met. He loved them so much that He forgave them when hanging on the Cross.

I told the priest that Jesus loved everyone because He was God. God is love. Jesus was Divine. There is no way we can love as Jesus does because we are not gods. We are humans with human failings.

He thought I was making excuses and told me to try harder to like everyone.

I told him, surely there are some people he most probably does not like. The Bishop for instance. Or a fellow priest. Or some parishioners. Especially the pompous snooty ones that most churches seem to have.

He thought about this and confessed, perhaps unwisely, he did not like it when the Bishop addressed him by his surname. Or when one of his fellow priests has too short sermons. Or the parishioner who believes she is an expert at flower arranging. Or the choir leader who thinks she is a prima donna at the opera.

It was a long Confession. And we agreed we cannot be like Jesus, but we should try.

I wonder who he will confess his sins to? Maybe he'll visit my church and confess to my priest.

24 comments:

  1. Confession is good for the heart. We don't have to "like" people--only love them.
    Blessings, Victor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lulu,

      You have raised a very interesting, and serious, question. What does "love them" mean? If say, I don't like the boss because he is obnoxious, big-headed etc. etc. How am I expected to "love" him? Should I be nice to him or pretend to be nice to him? Is that not being a hypocrite?

      I think I am guilty of more sins than I imagine. This being a Christian thing is very difficult.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. Don't get started on MY in-laws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you love them from afar, Anni?

      God bless.

      Delete
  3. good for you going to confession

    ReplyDelete
  4. Growing up I always struggled with confession and just went because we had to. We went as a class once a month which I guess was enough time for us kids to commit lots of sins. Dialog with God works for me instead of confessing to a priest.
    Thanks for the nice comment on m blog, I appreciate it. My wife and I are happy the move is over and we are where we want to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Bill. As a child, Confession became a duty, every week. I did not have time to commit new sins in such a short time!!!

      I hope you and your wife will be happy in your new home. Looking forward to some great photos.

      God bless you all.

      Delete
  5. Ah...confession. Now there is a whole other discussion. Thank you Jesus for forgiving us!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now THERE's a dilemma!
    I never caught on, but once had a minister who'd say, "The angel in me recognizes/loves the angel inside you." Hmmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see what you're saying, Mevely.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  7. Perfectly woven story of the dilemma formal confessions can present to us. Yes, we should admit that we don't like everyone we meet or work with, but we can still resolve to love them as Jesus loves, and ask forgiveness when negative thoughts enter our heads.
    And yes, there are too many who confess on Facebook what they should be confessing to God.
    Blessings, Victor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your wise words, Martha. Often, I find, if I don't like a person, I ask myself how does God want me to "love" them.

      God bless you always.

      Delete
  8. I thought I was the only one1 who tried to go to priests I didn't know for confession

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not the only one, Kathy. But I guess London is too far for you to travel.

      God bless.

      Delete
    2. Yes it is, although it would be a GREAT excuse to go there! There are quite a few parishes close to me that I can visit, though.

      Delete
    3. Perhaps our priests in London can do confessions by phone.

      God bless.

      Delete
  9. Being a Baptist I confess directly to God. : )

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  10. Hahaha!
    Yes, Victor, we should always try...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liking people can be so difficult ...

      God bless you, Chris.

      Delete
  11. For sure I would not be confessing to any human, only Jesus Christ. The one time I did I regretted it. I don't trust anyone, past hurts etc etc. I struggle with trusting humans. I love everyone for who they are as we should, but I do not like many people. GOD's word tells we do not need to associate with everyone, furthermore we should disassociate ourselves from humans that would bring us down physically, mentally, morally, spiritually. I appreciate the prayer for all who comment here. May GOD have mercy on his creation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Erika for visiting here and for commenting.

      I understand you have been hurt in the past and indeed often the pain of past hurts lingers on.

      When we get close to someone, we make ourselves more vulnerable as we get to trust them. Sadly, often this trust is betrayed. Christ experienced such betrayal at the hands of Judas.

      What is the answer? To avoid everyone in life and not get close to anyone? This would deny us many opportunities to share happiness and to give it to others.

      I am praying for you Erika and may the Lord help heal your past hurts.

      God bless you.

      Delete

I PRAY FOR ALL WHO COMMENT HERE.

God bless you.

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