Mirror, mirror on the wall…
I was looking in the mirror recently (I’m trying to lose weight and this is a good way to ruin my appetite…), and I realized that it’s actually healthy to look at myself as I really am.
I know that sounds pretty simplistic, and I’m nothing if I’m not a simple person, but I mean I really take time to look at who I am. Not looking in the mirror to check my hair, or to see if my sideburns are even, or to see if my butt looks big in these jeans (all right, I’ll admit I’ve never looked for that). But I look in the mirror to see who I really am…versus the person that I just want other people to see.
And this is basically the first step I make to start seeing how God really sees me. Because if you’re like me (and gee, for your sake I hope you’re not)—there’s usually a big difference between the person you are rather than the person you want to be. Most of us want to be seen as nice people, maybe even as prayerful people—but when I look in the mirror I see something a little bit different. And I also notice that maybe if I grew a beard it would draw some attention away from my nose. But that may not apply to you.
Anyway, this seeing myself as I really am is the way I start what Catholics traditionally call the ”
examination of conscience “, which is the first step on our way to a good confession.
Now if you’re around my age you probably thought Catholics (and Episcopalians and Orthodox) gave up on that confession thing a long time ago. We mostly only see the confessional in movies or TV shows (thankfully, Carmela from The Sopranos still goes to confession). Other than that, though, it doesn’t seem to be too popular nowadays.
But I’ve gotta confess, I love confession. I really started going to confession regularly a few years ago when I heard the Pope goes to confession like once
a week. The Pope? Well if he needs to go so often, I figured I better start going more often too. Because something tells me he wasn’t even at the same bars I was at the night before, and so he’s in way less trouble than I usually am…
So there I am, more often than I’d like to admit, going to confession. And I always feel strange that practically no one my age is in line. It feels like everyone there is either really young or really old. In other words, kids who don’t know any better, or older people who realize they got some ‘splaining to do before meeting their Maker.
I’d rather be in line at the DMV
more awkward than that silence in the confession line, either. I don’t want to look too somber—so that people think I’m about to confess my latest crime spree—but at the same time, if I’m smiling or laughing people might not think I’m taking this seriously enough. It’s a fine line to walk in that confession line.
But there’s no peace that comes to a little neurotic person like myself as the peace I find after a good confession. I know I probably sound old fashioned or just plain weird that I enjoy confession, but I promise you:
If the last time you went to confession you were wearing parachute pants, listening to the Fat Boys, and thought Webster was the greatest TV show of all time—you really ought to think of going back. I bet you you’ll be glad you did.