Sunday, May 3, 2009

Confession: Sunday Scribblings

Not Unlike Most Confessions
"Confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure."

What's surprising about that definition I Googled with "define: confess"? First, of course, is the use of the word itself in the definition. How freakin' helpful is that? Second is the fact that the definition includes the phrase "usually under pressure." I never really thought about it in those terms, but of course that's a huge part of it, right?

I'm a recovering Catholic, having spent nearly every Sunday of my childhood in church. My mother was -- and is again -- a true Catholic, keeping her disagreements with the church in her head as opposed to being said aloud. For years, though, she was a lapsed Catholic. Her "sins" are hers to discuss, but I don't think I'm speaking out of turn when I mention the big D word as one of them. My parents' divorce is as much my story as it is theirs.

She was away from the Catholic Church for a number of years, having tried some high-falutin' almost-Catholic religion for many years with her second husband. [I seem to recall it was Presbyterian. I, on the other hand, have gone the Episcopalian route.] Eventually, though, the calling of her childhood and all her beliefs brought her back to the Catholic Church, and she was welcomed again with open arms.

After, of course, being pressured forced required to confess all of her sins in the intervening years between confessions. She chuckles that she knew all was well when the church didn't fall down around her whilst in the confessional. [Is my mom cool or what?]

On the national stage, we force our wrong-doers to confess to their sins. For good measure, we make them say "I'm sorry" to the camera as well. It's what I do on the "yard" each time at recess. I make the kid who has done something wrong admit he did it and then look the victim in the eye and say, "I'm sorry." And the poor victim? What of him? Why, I make him look the perp in the eye and say, "That's okay."

I must confess I find far too many confessions hollow.


[Sunday Scribblings posts might have some juicy confessions for you to read this week.]

2 comments:

anthonynorth said...

Yes, confession often seems to be what's expected of us, when the sin is usually their too high expectations of people.

Dee Martin said...

It seems to me that the logical progression would be you sin, you are convicted or hurt to your heart by what you have done, you confess, you repent, you are RESTORED. I don't understand religion that exists to continue to punish a person long after they have confessed. Kind of takes the incentive away doesn't it?

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