One thing I know Catholics (most Catholics, anyways) do not enjoy is going to confession.  Speaking for myself, I do not like owning up to the wrongs I have done, nor am I easy on myself when it comes to forgiveness.  This is the first time I’ve been to confession in a looooong time.  I went when I was at home for spring break, but it wasn’t truly confession.  I had tea with the priest at my church (Fr. Tony @ St. Simon’s), and I just needed to talk about a bunch of stuff that was bugging me.  It was like diet confession or something.  Needless to say, I was very, very nervous; nervous to the point that if I had hair, I’m sure I’d have pulled it out strand by strand.  

Sean sort of squeezed my hand and we walked into St. Mary’s, which was (thankfully) pretty empty.  The reconciliation room was open (we don’t use confessionals anymore… they store choir risers), and he gestured for me to go in first.  My heart dropped into my stomach, and I think it stopped beating.  I knelt behind the screen, and my voice kind of quavered when I started.

Confession is supposed to help you, to release all of that guilt, because God forgives you, and you need to forgive yourself.  Well, easier said than done.  I told him I hadn’t been in a long time, and we walked through it together, piece by piece.  Fr. Lucas was very patient, and his accent is very soothing. (He’s from Argentina).  My penance, instead of prayers, is to help someone. (A very good penance, according to Sean).  My other is to get along with my mum (A very hard penance).  I’m not going to tell you what I confessed, because it really isn’t anyone’s business but mine and Fr. Lucas’, but afterwards, with all of my sins laid out in front of me… I cried.  I knelt in a back pew of the church and cried.  Sean went in and came out, much shorter than my time with Fr. Lucas.  He knelt by the tabernacle, piously, and I felt like a reject, sniffling back tears in the back of the church.  He just has so much knowledge of the inner-workings of the Church, and I… I know hardly anything, despite 8 years of school and everything else.  You know, I don’t even know what the mortal sins are.  Seriously.  I have no idea.  How am I supposed to confess my sins if I’m not sure what I’m supposed to confess?  

Well, I kept him in my periphery while I knelt and cried, but lost sight of him after a few minutes.  He had disappeared, and I thought in the back of my mind that I should go meet him outside or something.  I sat down, sniffled like a five year old who skinned their knee on the sidewalk, and continued to absently pray.  It wasn’t for God to forgive my sins, or even thanking Him for forgiving them.  I was praying for him to make me stop crying.  Stupid, I know.  But I didn’t really want Sean to see how upset I was.  I’m never upset. Well, rarely upset.  I asked Him, “God, please, I’m sorry I’m such a reject and can’t do anything right, but please make me stop crying because I don’t want Sean to see how bothered I am by this.  I shouldn’t be crying!”  And it pretty much went like that for five whole minutes.  Eventually, I felt someone playing with my hair (yes, I can feel if someone touches my wig, it’s like an extension of my head), and I hastily wiped my eyes to look up at Sean, who’s eyes were full of playful concern.  He had a smile on his face, but his eyes… there’s a way he looks at me when I’m not feeling well, and he did it again when I was sitting in the pew.  We both decided that mass could wait for Sunday, and we left to run a few errands.

I was very, very quiet.  Uncomfortably silent, actually.  I was trying SO hard not to cry that it took all of my concentration to drive and not cry at the same time. (We always take my car around town because I drive a Prius, and that just makes sense with gas being $3.75 or something, and he hates driving my car because it’s a girly, gay car.)  He knew something was wrong immediately, and I told him I refused to talk about it while I was driving, lest we have an accident and die.  When we got to the store, I eventually told him what was bothering me, and he just hugged me and sighed, “Oh, Kristin…”  I wiped my tears, we ran our errands, and went home (still vastly upset).  

I kind of cleaned myself up before going to dinner with my family, and laughed at all appropriate times of the conversation.  Ashley never knew I was upset, which was fine by me.  I got home with mum after picking up a film at Hollywood, and I expected to watch it with her, but she was too busy to sit down and spend time with me.  I played piano for well over 90 mins, just waiting, then watched Grey’s Anatomy until 11:30 or so… yeah, she decided she was too tired to watch a film with me, and went to bed.

I went out with Hillary, and we had a blasty blast.  I needed to take my mind off of confession (and everything else that was bothering me).  You know, by the end of the night, I felt okay about going to church and getting everything off my chest.  You can’t tell your priest everything in detail because he is NOT your therapist, but he can at least give you spiritual guidance, which he did.  So, the Catholic part of me feels better.  The logical, Kristin part of me still feels a bit bummed.  I do have other things on my plate, like my mum being here, my love life, cancer (oh yeah, that), friendships… and I guess it all culminated this weekend.  Funny how that happens sometimes.

Well, I’m going to attempt to go to sleep since it’s 4:10 right now, and I have to be at mass at 8:15ish. Bah, so early.  I need to go to choir and be with my family – I miss them, and I need hugs.


3 thoughts on “Confession

  1. I could say all that “reassuring” Christian crap. Or I could just say, “If you need saving from your mother call me and we’ll get coffee.”

  2. dear heart,
    faith is not about knowing, it is being willing to NOT know. Knowledge of what the mortal sins are is not transforming. Your account of your confession is precisely what it is all about. In your doubt, in your pain, in your confusion you stayed true.
    best regards,
    – e
    PS – I read the “About Me” before submitting. Portland is my hometown and OSU was my almost alma mater.

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