I wrote out my "stuff" a few days ago & brought it to the Lord in prayer... I felt as though I had made a good examination of conscience. I spent an hour before the Blessed Sacrament prior to confession & my heart was tender.
The priest & I talked briefly about what was expected. My "list" was suddenly irrelevant. He led me through the order of things & before I knew it, it was over. I admit, I spent most of the day wondering if I had really said enough or if I was really absolved from my sins... It all seemed too easy. Certainly I would at least have some kind of penance? I was encouraged to forgive others their faults. I prayed an Act of Contrition with genuine tears. But that was it. What was it I was expecting? A reprimand? A gasp of horror? A sentence of shame? Well, kind of. But instead, I received kindness & dignity. Sin is a human condition after all... There's nothing really extraordinary about it, whatever name it happens to go by. My identity isn't found in my sins, its found in Christ.
When I left, I wasn't ecstatic like I thought I'd be. I actually walked out a little dazed, like "What just happened here?". But as I drove home & began my work day, I felt vigilant- like I was wearing white- I was suddenly mindful of everything. One smudge, one drop could make all the difference. Had I REALLY been forgiven? Absolved? REALLY? I wrestled til lunch time & finally realized... Yeah. Really. Wow.