“Sexual Abuse, Security, And the Seal of the Confessional”: Powerful Piece

at A Queer Calling:

…I belong to a Christian tradition where confession is offered, and it is encouraged that people make confessions as often as needed. Confession is, without a doubt, one of the most meaningful spiritual practices in my life. Every good confession makes me feel like a newly-illumined handmaiden all over again. Forgiveness is the most incredible of gifts. Each experience of this mystery leaves me feeling washed, renewed, restored, made whole, joyous, grateful, and empowered. At times, going to confession has brought me out of dark depressive episodes. It reminds me that I am a fallible human being, I am far from perfect, I cannot heal myself, and I need the prayers and support of the Church as I journey towards Christ. Sin, repentance, and forgiveness do not happen in a vacuum where it’s just me and Jesus. When I experience a good confession, I leave feeling refreshed by God’s grace and goodness, humbled by my human frailty, and overwhelmed by God’s willingness to share my humanity as much as Christ shares in the humanity of every person. Confession is a great equalizer among people. When we come in repentance, we all strive to humble ourselves to receive God’s grace as fully as possible. In confession, everyone is a sinner.

There are times when I can’t help but remember myself as a 12-year-old experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of a member of my childhood faith community.

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