I try to go to confession as often as I can. At my parish, it’s offered only on Saturday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:00. Having a family that doesn’t practice Catholicism with me, it’s sometimes difficult to get time away to receive the Sacrament.
My wife, a non-Christian, is very good at tolerating my faith and all of the “extra events” that go along with weekly Mass (i.e. confession, Knights of Columbus meetings, volunteer activities, etc.). She is from a country and culture that doesn’t place much emphasis on religion or faith; it’s a very secular society that she is from. However, I’m very thankful that my wife is so open-minded and loving. Heck, even when I practiced Wicca, she was okay with it — as long as I didn’t do anything “weird” or “cultish.” (Um, Topaz, dude, witchcraft IS weird. Shut up.)
Anyway, I just came back from receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, colloquially referred to as confession. I feel better than ever right now. I always do after confessing all the muck and garbage that builds up inside of me. It’s so incredible to know that my gross sins are absolved and that I am free to begin again!
What happened BEFORE I went to confession is a different story.
Maybe just by reading the few paragraphs at the beginning of this post, you might think that I’m a Wonder Christian ™ who is always happy and “on fire” for Jeezus.
Just take another look at the title of this blog.
Now, I don’t want to blame the following on my mental illness which, by the way, includes bipolar disorder, paranoia, and social anxiety. I am totally responsible for the following. (Gosh, it sure helps that I’m anonymous!)
I have been taking part in some “binge and purge” type of actions. As a male, I struggle all the time (yes, all the time) with lust and sexual temptation. I go to confession, vow not to sin again, and then go home triumphantly. For the next couple days, I do pretty well: When tempted to look impurely at a woman or to let myself be led to racy Internet images, I stop myself and then pat myself on the back.
It never fails, though. After a few days of living like a monk, I get tempted beyond my own will power and give in. Then, as I mentioned, it’s *binge and purge time*.
I can’t believe this happened earlier today (Actually, yes I can, because I’m a sinner.). I had to stop by Target to get some items that my wife needed. Mind you, I had already been indulging in lust and impurity before arriving at Target. However, Target, to me, is a palace of pleasure, a Sin City beneath the red doggy logo.
Huh? Target? The retail store?
Guys, I don’t know if you feel the same. Ladies, I apologize if this seems sexist or offensive (which means I’m about to offend you). But, it seems like the only people who shop at Target are the most attractive females in the most revealing outfits.
*bracing for all the hate mail*
Walking down the aisles, Satan was giving me left-right combinations to my face and chest, knocking me down and flinging me against the ropes. My whole mindset inside Target was, “Well, I’m going to confession right after this, so I’ll take in as much flesh and voluptuous curves as I can.”
The impact of my sinful thinking didn’t really hit me until I was praying before the life-size crucifix in my parish after confession today. It disgusted me that I was in such a pathetic state of mind, seeking out opportunities to fill my lustful heart. I actually winced when God reminded me in prayer that I was using His gift of forgiveness as sin insurance.
No, I’m nowhere near a “Super Christian.” Heck, I’m nowhere near a normal Christian. I’m just a guy who, after lots and lots of studying and praying, became convinced that Christianity, more specifically Catholicism, was the Church of Christ and the way to God.
I’m not here to try to convince you (although I’m convinced) or argue with you. I’ll leave that to the apologists. That isn’t my bag anyway.
I’m not here to scream at you that you’re going to hell. Only God knows the answer to that one. (Hopefully I’m not going there by the way.) Shoot, if I told my wife that she was currently on a one-way roller coaster ride to the Eternal Lake of Fire, I would no longer be able to urinate like a normal guy.
Anyway, I’m not a very good example of a Christian. I (intentionally) sin. But I always get up when I fall down — sometimes slowly, sometimes even more slowly.
God just wants you to be a person after His own heart.