BH@WYD: Annie Goes to Confession

I haven´t been to confession in 10 years. It´s not that I refuse to go, it´s just something I never thought too much about.

One of the many events on the World Youth Day schedule included the Festival of Forgiveness, a section set aside in Retiro Park where 200 priests are stationed to hear confession. Since I had been conducting interviews all week in and near the park, I really had no excuse not to go.

Toying with the idea in my head for a few days, when the chance came to ask a priest about certain aspects of confession, I jumped at it.

Fr. Emiel Abalahin, O. Carm answered all my questions and concerns and even admitted that there was a time in his life when he avoided confession for 10 years. While the church advises we go at least once a year, he said once a month is even better.

“We all need a place to witness God´s listening ear,” he said. “We need a place to say what´s on our hearts and weighing us down.”

So, with an open heart I went to confession for the first time in 10 years. I was incredibly nervous, sweating profusely and slightly uncomfortable as I knelt to confess, the sun beating down on me. Admitting your faults is not an easy thing, but I felt immense relief once I did.

As I further explained my spiritual journey to Fr. Emiel, he said to me, “I´m glad you´re moving and not just standing still.”

And, that´s what I hope to continue this week  during World Youth Day and even after it has ended.

Originally published on August 20, 2011.

Annie Reuter

Annie Reuter, is a freelance writer and music blogger who covers concerts and music festivals around the country. In constant pursuit of the next show to attend and band to interview, Annie keeps up her own music blog, You Sing, I Write, where she uncovers what it's really like to spend the day with a rock star.