“The Lord is kind and merciful” ~ Psalm 103. It had been 30 years since my last Confession. I knew I needed to return to Confession but I was afraid. Where would I start? It had been so long. But because I was also attending Mass and receiving the Eucharist I knew I needed to make a decision soon. I knew it was wrong to continue to receive the Eucharist after being away from Confession for so long. I was searching for the right opportunity but my fear of going back to the sacrament was very strong.
Through an act of providence, I believe, I was invited to join a group of Catholics from various parishes in Rochester to travel to Irene, South Dakota, for a silent retreat. The name of the retreat center is “Broom Tree”. It is a beautiful, serene setting which I would like to return to someday. It was a very special, faith filled experience for me.
Not quite knowing what to expect other than we were asked to participate in the Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon retreat in silence; I accepted the invitation gratefully because it was actually an answer to a prayer. I had been praying to follow God’s promptings and specifically God brought to mind a retreat. Before I could even take the time to figure out where I would find a retreat, a few days later I received the invitation. I knew God wanted me there. For some reason, I did not necessarily anticipate I would be making the long overdue Confession that weekend but I was willing to do what God was asking of me.
God knew exactly the setting I needed to make a good Confession after so many years. The retreat was filled with time for prayer, song, reflection, Mass, the Rosary, Adoration and rest. And, there was ample opportunity for Confession. I knew this was the time God had chosen for me.
I chose not to do a face to face Confession although I have since returned to that format. The priest was kind and helpful. The burden of carrying my sins that I was ashamed to confess for so many years had been lifted. It was a time of great thankfulness to God for providing the right opportunity for me. God knows us so well.
Since that return to the Sacrament of Confession about 10 years ago, I have been faithful in going to Confession on a regular basis. I usually make my Confession every month or six weeks. It has been a source of great healing for me from past sins. It has lessened temptations and brought me closer to Jesus and my Catholic faith. It has inspired me to reach out now to others to share my experience so others need not be afraid. It is such a blessing to receive this sacrament each and every time. We are so fortunate as Catholic Christians to have this great gift available to us. The Lord is truly kind and merciful!
Anonymous, Rochester, MN