Since my conversion to the Catholic faith, I have learned that there is a powerful but often subtle connection between the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Over the last several years, it seems like every important step forward in my interior life has happened through the rich relationship that exists between these two sacraments.
I come from a broken home, have made a lot of bad choices in my life, and have struggled with addictions and compulsive behaviors that I used to medicate all of the unprocessed pain and undressed wounds in my life. But, in the years since I have become Catholic, regular visits to the confessional and prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament have gently but firmly accelerated the healing process and brought me to a level of freedom I could not have imagined was possible.
It is in Adoration that I usually become aware of my need for confession. And it is in the confessional that the priest will often, inexplicably, hone in on the “problem behind the problem,” and discuss with me briefly how to get at the root cause of certain behaviors. Sometimes, the priest will identify something that I did not even confess and that he had no way of knowing but that turned out the be a key in my healing process.
There is no doubt in my mind that the words of Our Lord to St. Faustina are true, that in the confessional, we meet Jesus Himself, working through the priest. He extends mercy in the confessional, not harsh judgment.
Sacred Scripture says of him: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
It is, above all, this gentleness that has given me the courage to face the darkest parts of myself, bring them into the light, and let Jesus heal and transform them. And it is through these two sacraments, together, that I most palpably encounter God’s love and goodness on a regular basis.
-- anonymous, Winona