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Go Enjoy That Grace!

October 12th, 2013by Joshua Danis

I have a confession to make.  I just went months without going to confession.  Now, I know that a few months in between confessions is not that uncommon, but, well, it’s too uncommon for a sinner like me.  When I awoke that last morning, I was haunted by feelings of unworthiness, feelings of bitterness, and feelings that the weight of the world was closing in on me.  Needless to say, these feelings did not put me in much of a mood to go confession.

Oh, and I was chuck full of good excuses on why I should not go:

One, the priest is really busy.

Two, what if I have to interact with this priest on a professional level in the future?  Do I really want to have been to him for confession?

Three, and the best excuse of all, “I haven’t done anything like really terrible!”  So it is not that important that I go, right?

 Thank goodness, God didn’t let me buy my own excuses this time.  Sure, the priest was busy, but he had already made it perfectly clear on multiple occasions that he would always make time to hear my confession if I wanted.  When it was over, he even thanked me for remembering to take care of my own soul.

The excuse that I might have to interact with a priest in the future is hogwash.  Priests hear hundreds or even thousands of confessions.  So they aren’t fooled by some rosy illusion that we are all perfect, anyway.  They know we are all sinners in need of mercy.  Our sins don’t scandalize priests.  But our refusal to go to confession might cause our sins to go on scandalizing ourselves.

My third excuse was wrong on so many levels that it is difficult to cover them all.  To assume that my sins aren’t that bad is to judge for myself how good is good enough.  It also puts me in the absurd position of trying to justify myself before God.  God does not want me to excuse my sin.  He wants to remove it from me, Himself.  Most of all, to turn down an opportunity for confession is pass up the GRACE that makes me more holy, more happy, more myself!

As I left confession with a bright smile on my face, the priest waved to me and said, “Go enjoy that GRACE.”  The next morning, I awoke with a prayer on my lips and new hope in my heart.  I am so glad I did not let a few months turn into many months.  But even if I had, it would not have made iota of difference regarding my excuses.  How about you?  Are you falling for your own excuses, too?  If so, why not come enjoy this GRACE?

Joshua Danis

Joshua Danis is the Northern Coordinator for the Family and Respect Life Office. He and his wife also are working together to build their lives as a domestic church.