Believing in God through Confession.
I remember a time when I was really struggling with believing in God. I struggled with different proofs, and searched my own past experiences, all of which left me completely unsatisfied. The idea came to me to go confession and so I went. I reflected on everything I had done over the past week, and confessed them to the priest.
After the confession, literally a 30 seconds afterward, I found myself once again in consolation. Belief in God was easy. I felt light. But most importantly, I felt a deep sense of gratitude.
I wish to draw some lessons for myself from this little experience I had going to confession. One important thought that came to me was that sin was the real reason I didn’t believe in God. This might seem like an odd thing to say but I think its’ true.
Isaiah writes, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). Sin then was ultimately what was behind my separation from God.
Yet the scary thing was, was that I was unaware of it. I reflected and wanted to believe more deeply in God. I used my rational powers to help me to attain this goal. Yet my intellect couldn’t help me. I needed a conversion of heart.
What’s more, I needed to be made aware of how my own sins though completely outside of my awareness kept me apart from a relationship with God.
Often times the Church has the bad reputation of spending too much time focusing on painful subjects like hell and sin, when they should be more positive. However, to be made conscious of my sin (Romans 3:20), though painful, in the end seems to be for my good.
This is for my good because sin is a reality in creation. I sometimes forget what I’ve done.
I often go about my life as though I was perfect and everyone around me was messing up. I am it seems the last person to know about my own sins, even though I am the one who commits them. But sin is there, whether I am aware of it or not.
Here is perhaps the joy of the Gospel and of the Church. Christ offers us forgiveness from sin through the sacrament of confession. It is here where creation is made new, things are set aright again, and we can live once again in lightness, belief, and gratitude towards God.
Hence, “Do not delay turning back to the Lord, do not put it off day after day.” (Ben Sira:5:7)