Confession: Should penance be a heavy thing?

Confessional in Santa Sabina Basilica, Roma (Image mine)

Katrina is wondering whether some priests dole out standard penances for venial or mortal sins alike, and she's not loving the idea:If we have different types of sins, venial and mortal, shouldn’t we have different types of penances to reflect the nature of the sin? I don’t get how some priests can give the exact same penance for all sins regardless of their seriousness.Just speaking my own personal experience, I have the hardest time forgiving myself when I feel the punishment doesn’t f … [Read more...]

Reconcile Yourself to Resurrection!

And be renewed!I'll be there, tomorrow, please join me! It has been two months since my last confession, and more than past-time for me to again avail myself of the soul-settling power and grace of this sacrament.And this confession will include -- among my copious other sins large and small -- "I yelled at a guy on the radio and was full of anger and uncharity, when I really did know better, but nobody steps on a nun in my town..." and "I went to Mass unwillingly because sometimes, … [Read more...]

Oh, So Ripe for Confession!

Basilica Santa Sabina, Roma

It's been quiet around here for the past few days, I know; I forgot to post that my husband and I were taking a time away to celebrate anniversaries. We're not quite back -- we're going to try to take the rest of the weekend off -- but we're at home, now and I am very much looking forward to going to confession in a few hours, in anticipation of the end of the liturgical year, the end of the Year of Faith and the coming of Advent, which is my favorite season.And I wanted to encourage … [Read more...]

The Value of a Good “Mea Culpa”

Reposted, by request, from 2007, before any changes to English translations:It's struck me for a while, now, that we Catholics, who begin each Mass with a Penitential Rite meant to free us from the lesser - not grievous or mortal - sins, have been short-changing ourselves by our choice in how we do it.In most parishes today, the Penitential Rite will be a series of affirmations tied in to the Kyrie, so you might hear something like this:"Lord Jesus, You are the Light of the World and … [Read more...]

Changing ‘Amazing Grace’, to Feel Better About Ourselves?

Miss Kelly is distressed to find that some hymnals (including the one in my church) feature a change in the words to Amazing Grace.“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me...” Has been changed to reflect both the freedom that comes with salvation -- which is very nice -- and also the decree from some publishing house on high that we never, ever sing a lyric that might suggest a negative.“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved and set me free...”Never mi … [Read more...]

On Confession, Part II

Last month, I wrote on the sacrament of Confession and my experiences of it. Just thought I would add a little more to it, as this afternoon in confession, I made the priest laugh out loud (which is a lot better than making him cry), and because I got an email on the subject that gave me chills, and the writer has given me permission to reprint some of it.How did I make the priest laugh? I went in, knelt down, did my little opening and then said, "Last Sunday, I had a flu and felt … [Read more...]