Confession is a difficult thing. I once went 11 years without ever stepping into a reconciliation room or confessional. I likened it to an iron maiden. These days, the Sacrament of Reconciliation doesn’t seem as scary or restricitive. It actually seems soothing and nurturing.
Sin is a slippery thing. The big bad wolves of transgression are easy to blurt out. They huff and puff out of our memories into heartfelt public reflections. It’s the subtle temptations that are hard to discuss. The envy, lust, doubt, dishonesty, and selfishness that is as natural to us as breathing is hard to pinpoint and confront. Still, I try my best.
I’ve been reading The Purpose-Driven Life for about 25 days now. Interestingly enough, the latest chapters dealing with naming and facing our problem patterns. It requires strength and tenacity but the comforting part is the mothering mercy of God. Notice I described God as Mother.
While I admit a great devotion to Mary the Mother, it is God who is the greatest Mother. He creates, nurtures, and embraces like our own mothers. Through my mother Elsa, I have known both God’s Law and God’s Mercy. It is one of my greatest hopes that someday I will be a mother, too(and this desire sometimes leads to my problems).
This image of God’s motherhood has transformed confession for me. It is a place for contemplation and relief. It is not unlike a womb.