Sins, Spirituality, and Confession

Today I spoke to a couple of different friends about being bad Catholics, going to confession, and the importance of staying close to God. (Sorry to those who have different beliefs, feel free to close out of this post if it’s not for you.)

One friend said she scheduled a confession time recently. Our church is providing them at set times during Lent if you wish to go then, but you are also able to schedule a time (this also applies year-round). She said she needed to schedule because she feared she would need more time. We both laughed. She shared how moving it was and how much closer she felt to God having gone to confession for the first time in a couple of decades.

What many non-Catholics may not realize is – that’s entirely the point. A priest I’m quite close with told me many years ago a therapist once said no matter your religious practice or belief, confession is the one thing no one can argue Catholics are definitely getting right. To sit in front of someone and say, “Here are all the things I’ve done wrong.” Then you have that person say back to you,” You are forgiven.” That’s a huge weight to have lifted. It’s kind of like therapy.

It’s not because you have to go to a priest to be forgiven. It’s because when you do, the benefit from having done so is huge. The priest can then help guide you toward ways to help you find your way back if you feel you have strayed away from God in your life.

I recently went to confession. It was wonderful. It was meaningful and helped me feel reconnected to myself, and to God. It also helped provide me with some clarity I feel I desperately needed.

Later the same day the friend was speaking about scheduling her confession, another friend was telling me how bad she feels for being away from the church. After having lost several family members with whom her family attended mass, it’s been difficult for her to go back into the building. She also cited laziness. Honest. Fair. I appreciate it.

During this Lenten season, I’m working on mindfulness. I’ve been using the Hallow app for the #Pray40 challenge. It’s been amazing. My husband, a non-Catholic who has been attending Catholic church now 13 years running, has been participating along with me and loving the app as well. It’s given us something different and interesting to talk about every day. It’s been really meaningful and wonderful.

So, if you’re reading this and feeling like you’re stuck in the same old storm again when it comes to faith, fear, or uncertainty. Just remember every storm runs out of rain. Good luck, my friends.

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Heather Chastain

About Heather

(So, my web designer says I needed to include a bio, though I find this task silly because, if you’re here, you know me.)

I’m a writer. It’s what I do. It’s a cathartic mechanism when I need release from my anxiety. I’ve had blogs in the past; I’ve taken them down, but I never stopped writing. I simply can’t. My notes app is forever long as it’s filled with pages and pages of different topics. Sometimes I just write a few sentences. Sometimes I write paragraphs.

Recently, I've been writing long essays. My friends and others I hold dear have coaxed me into sharing my work again.

So that's what I'm doing, you wicked, pushy people. LOL

I have no desire to see my writing be anything more than an opportunity to share what I love doing most. I have no interest in this blog reaching the masses.

I thought it would be fun to call it My Spicy Disaster because that's often how I feel. A complete mess of epic proportion. So join me, if you'd like, and let's pretend we're not sitting amongst the chaos crying, but laughing instead.

Or maybe we do cry sometimes, but then wipe our tears and remember one person’s disaster is another person’s … well, who the hell knows …