Sunday, December 17, 2006

Third Week of Advent

When Cathy and I went to Mass last night the line outside of Fr. Francis Reconciliation room was short, so we decided to take the opportunity for Confession. (It saved us a trip back for today's reconciliation service.)

I'd not been to Fr. Francis before, but Ian had reported that he is a good confessor. Different priests have different gifts and I think Ian was right about Fr. Francis.

He listened quietly and then drew out the two themes from what I'd said -- impatience and jealousy -- and knitted them together. He suggested that I remember my Christian duty to serve people quietly. Words don't really capture exactly what happened, but suffice it to say that what he said was exactly what I needed to hear.

This is what Reconciliation is about (at least in the very best instances). An opportunity to unburden in contrition, to receive counsel and comfort and to start fresh with a new insight. I've sometimes thought about how hard a sacrament this must be for priests to administer. I'm grateful for their willingness to do it.