October 05, 2020
Filed In: Faith
I’ve made no secret that I’m a frequent recipient of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Once or twice a month, I leave my house on a Saturday afternoon to renew myself. Despite years of this spiritual practice, I still find myself in need of a regular spiritual tune-up. I’m grateful to have a confessor locally who is both patient and gentle with me. This year, as with everything, things have been different.
In the first few months of the shutdowns, I wasn’t able to receive the Sacrament at all. The Church doors were locked and all scheduled Sacraments canceled. I’m sure that I could’ve scheduled an appointment, but the grace of anonymity is among the greatest that the Sacrament bestows, aside from forgiveness, of course. In those early weeks, I was very disciplined spiritually. I was locked in and focused. My need for Reconciliation was less intense. Knowing that the Sacrament wasn’t so easily attained, I found it easier to do the right thing.
When the Churches first reopened, I went to Confession outside. The priest and I sat outside in the Church courtyard. We sat at opposite ends of a folding table and a line of people stood nearby. I’d be okay never having that experience again.
As the reality of how delicate life truly is set in, I’ve spent a lot of time pondering how well I’m living the life that I profess. I’ve considered my track record within my vocation and as a father. Without the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I could never rise to this high calling. My shortcomings would prevent me from living as the person, husband, and father that God has called me to be.
There are many lessons that we will each take from 2020 and this experience. I hope that one of those life changes that I walk away with is a greater sense of humility. Without God, without His Church, and without the Sacraments, I am nothing.