Lent decorations are a thing! I love these from Happy Nest Home Goods!
Since we always go to mass on Thursday evenings and a friend had volunteered to keep tabs on the little people, I figured I'd just go right before Mass. Then of course I was yelling at the kids and was in a rush to make it on time, so I ran in flustered and not at all ready.
The funny thing is, it doesn't really matter if we are ready. The grace and the forgiveness are there waiting. No one cares if I'm flustered and sweating and nervous. Both of our parish priests are such excellent confessors, which makes going much easier. A certain priest I like to go to is understanding yet firm and challenging. I've said before that sometimes I just feel like weeping in his lap. It sounds like a joke but it's really not. He's sitting there ready to take everything I need to give up and get rid of. He takes it willingly and without judgement. He counsels wisely and I'm pretty certain he forgets everything I've said as I walk out the door.
I don't go as often as I should, because owning up to our own sins just, well, sucks. I hate it, but at the same time it's so good. There's nothing quite like hearing a man who is acting in persona Christi absolve me from ALL THE SINS. I feel light and free and loved and confident. Forgiven. If I were only confessing to God quietly in my heart, I don't feel like I'd really be able to let go of the weight of sin. To hear the worlds of absolution is real, concrete and legit forgiveness. There's really nothing like it.
I wanted to say something super profound, but I'm pretty sure it's all be said on the Interwebs already. This post (from the gal I would have declared my spirit animal if I didn't have Father Nathan playing that role already) said all the things in a much more eloquent and charming way than I can. It's worth a read: My Love Affair with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
St. Patrick, pray for us!