From My Side of the Screen

Sacrament of ReconciliationLet me tell you something from my side of the confessional screen.

Hearing confessions is not easy. Its actually hard, often tiresome work.

Often the confessions are poorly prepared, badly informed or fully of all the tricks we’ve come to spot which allow people to confess while still retaining their dignity. You know the euphemisms, the generalities, the circumlocutions.

I don’t care. I’m glad they’re there.

They say every question is a good question. I say every confession is a good confession.

There is something else. Almost always when I am weary, maybe a bit fed up, maybe a bit tired of the same old stuff something happens.

The door will open and a child will make the most beautiful and simple confession.

Or maybe the door will open and I will hear, “Bless me Father for I have sinned. I have not been to confession nor Mass for forty years and I would like to come home.”

At that point I get out the Kleenex on my side of the screen.

At that point I am the Father of the prodigal son…

…and that is a very sweet and precious privilege indeed.

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