Well, last week brought piles of controversy. As some of you already know, there have been some questions regarding the legitimacy of our other parish. Lots of problems have ensued and that's part of why posts here went through a rapid decline.
I have exciting news to announce with you all. I am pregnant. 19 weeks pregnant by now and I'm thrilled tell all of you. However, due to the lack of ability to have a Convalidation to make our legal marriage a Sacramental one, we were concerned about our ability to have this child baptized in the Faith. So the ENTIRE argument ensued AGAIN with our parish trying to remedy the problem and finding no solutions and frankly a profound amount of "we don't care".
Last week on Wednesday, Prince Charming took matters into his OWN 6'2 former Army Sergeant hands and went down to the church's office to try and get a solution. Coming home with piles of more frustration and accusations, we thought perhaps we should consult the other "local" parish (30 miles in the OTHER direction) and see what we came up with.
So on Thursday Prince Charming and I left DS with a neighbor and went in to speak with this priest and find out what could be done. Fortunately, we found a source of beauty, strength, and frankly - a will to get this accomplished. I brought this poor priest a LAUNDRY list of what I couldn't figure out how to fix and in under 15 minutes, he had it all accomplished. We are starting our "pre-Cana" tomorrow and now for the hard part to admit - I FINALLY had my First Reconciliation.
Nearly 7 months after I received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
For those of you considering the faith (or just the nosy) who have ALWAYS wanted to know what the "big secret about confession is", here you go. No one else seems to have written about it so I figured I would share.
You do your best to prepare. As an adult who had never been through this before I had a LOT of territory to cover. I went through what is called an "Examination of Conscience" which is basically a LONG list of things I should be doing Biblically where I may have fallen short. Children usually start off with the 10 Commandments and the Great Commandment as their "reference point" for a Examination of Conscience. All things on an Examination of Conscience are generally related in one way or another to the 10 Commandments - it just goes WAY more in depth than your Sunday School teacher EVER did.
After you do your preparation and are ready, you enter the famous confessional. You know, like you see in movies. Except it usually isn't really like that at all. I'm picturing Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro as he's in the priest's place and Catherine Zeta Jones' character is confessing to him mistakenly. (For those unfamiliar with the movie - here's the clip I'm referring to. :)
My confessional didn't look ANYTHING like that. In fact, I've been surprised to find many modern Catholics choose to have their reconciliation done sitting NEXT to the priest in full view. It was a little white room. You could "hide" behind a curtain, kneel, and not be seen or you could go around the corner. Around the corner were 2 chairs - 1 where the priest sits regardless of where you go and the other is for you if you're brave enough to peek around the corner. Being pregnant and that the priest walked WITH me over to the confessional, I felt ridiculous kneeling and hiding on the other side so I went and sat in the chair.
What follows was fairly simple. We prayed. We talked about where I'd made mistakes in my life. The priest made constructive suggestions about ways to fix that and encouraged me the entire time with kindness and patience. I received my penance - nowhere near what I had feared after 31 years of sinning! We prayed again. I thanked him for his time and left.
The entire time my son was in the pew waiting for Mass to begin. He'd had his First Reconciliation last January. As I returned to the pew quietly and knelt to pray he got down on his knees as well and leaned over to me. He knew where I'd been. The conversation went something like this:
DS: You were in there for a long time.
Me: I know. I'm sorry and thank you for your patience.
DS: You must have had a LOT of sins.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, was the most embarrassing moment of the ENTIRE ordeal! :)