Advent and Confession

Tuesday, December 10, AD 2013

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.

Saint Augustine



I went to Confession with my bride tonight.  I always think we must give an interesting contrast to the priest as we confess seriatim.  My bride is one of the saintliest people I have ever encountered.  Her confession must be a breeze!  While I am a fairly typical attorney, with all that implies!  (I suppose I am not quite as bad as Charles II.  When the Merrie Monarch was on his death bed he was received into the Faith by Father John Huddleston who had helped care for him during Charles’ escape after the battle of Worcester.  He was told By Father Huddleston that he must confess all his sins.  Charles looked at the elderly priest and said “Ah, Father, I doubt if either of us have sufficient time for the recitation of all my sins!”)

I have never confessed without feeling that a mountain of sin has been lifted from my shoulders, as indeed it has.   In A Christmas Carol Scrooge announces after his conversion that he feels as giddy as a schoolboy, and that Is always my mood after Confession. I wish the whole world tonight might feel precisely the same giddiness.

In Confession I have always observed the rule of the three B’s:

1.  Be Blunt.

2.  Be Brief.

3.  Be Gone.

It saves time, especially if one attempts to prepare a mental list of sins beforehand.  I always end my confessions with the formula that I am truly sorry for any sins that I cannot recall.

The priest I confessed to tonight had mercy on me with five paternosters being my penance.  Small enough price for  the forgiveness of my sins.  I have always thought that God recalls all the acts of good we do in this world, and gives us Confession so that He may forget our sins, even if we cannot.  What a great advantage good priests must have in their favor when they come before God for the particular judgment for their work in the confessional alone.

Advent is a grand time for confession.  As we look forward to a new liturgical year, and the celebration of the coming of Christ into our world, we reject our old sins and seek out new virtues.

4 Responses to Advent and Confession

  • Ditto, Don. Every time I leave the confessional I feel as though a great weight has been lifted. Also, the three B’s are great advice.

  • Pingback: Pope Sends Sign Language Message to Bishops -
  • Donald—thank you for this reminder. I will look forward to my Advent confession, as a fellow sinner at the bar, with the joy of Zechias.

  • This weekend as we were traveling through a city we stopped to make a visit and see the renovation of the Cathedral. The beige painted bas relief had all been restored to life like tones – beautiful! When we walked in in we were pleased to see 3 confessionals with lines of penitents at each one. We took the opportunity and confessed. You could say we were also renovated and all the “beige” was returned to life like tones. What a wonderful blessing to be a Catholic.