I was reading my favorite blogs this morning and remembered that I completely forgot to blog about Boo’s First Confession! So here it:
We have a very small parish, with only about 12 children in the second grade religious education class. The children’s first confessions were spread out over 2 weeks, with 3 or 4 children scheduled every half hour each day. At the parents’ meeting, we happened to sit in the back and so we had to take the last day available, but got the first time slot.
Boo was well prepared, having learned most of the standard prayers long ago. The Act of Contrition was new to him and he was most worried about freezing up during it. We had assured him as best we could that Father understood all about little boys and would prompt him if needed. Boo is very easy going, so we were also able to tease a little bit about going to confession. We’d say, “I sure hope Father blocks out a whole hour for you!” and he’d say, “Oh yeah, ’cause I’ve got a list!” There is no way we’d be able to tease Pumpkin Girl like that, but Boo took it all in stride.
So the appointed day and time arrived and we, as a family, presented ourselves at the chapel. We were met by Miss Lynn,the religious ed director, who chatted with us while Boo tried to make himself disappear. We were standing off to the side of the room used for confessions and a little further down the hall was where Father was getting his vestments on. When Father came out, Boo spied him, grabbed me and proceeded to turn me around so that I was between him and Father. However, he was unable to escape his fate and Miss Lynn led him away. Boo got smaller and smaller with each step until he literally disappeared into the room. After several minutes he came bounding out, all smiles, and wanting to go back and do it again next week!
Then it was the rest of the family’s turn. Knowing that I would have an opportunity to go to confession myself had weighed on me for a while. I felt that this was something I really needed to do, if not for myself, then to set a good example for the boy. I have seen some discussion among non-Catholics about the validity of confessing to a priest. I understand the other point of view, but I have to say that going to confession really is such blessing. Preparing yourself with prayer, asking the Lord to show you what he wants you to seek forgiveness for, is very powerful. I found Him revealing things to me that I needed to forgive myself for. And while you can indeed go right to the Lord himself for forgiveness, there is something cathartic about speaking those words out loud and owning up to those dark spots on your soul. And what beauty there is in actually hearing words of forgiveness and receiving a blessing.
And speaking of blessings, after we all had our chance at going to confession, we stood together as a family and received a blessing. Then we went out and retrieved Subway sandwiches (Boo’s choice) for dinner. A very special day indeed.