I was urged to have confession and so I did. It was the first time I was having confession at this church. The line was so long. When it was finally my turn, I said everything that I was advised to confess. The priest in the confessional questioned my sins and basically roasted me for my sins. Confused and filled with rage, I cried. I did not understand why the priest was making me feel worse about my sins when I had already felt terrible about them. I cried for a long time in the confessional and continued having tears in my eyes and tears rolling down my cheeks as I walked out. I finally understood why some people only have confession with a specific priest.
I don’t know if I ever want to have confession ever again.
A couple of weeks later, I had confession with my spiritual director during the 4-day Ignatian Silent Retreat. I specifically chose him to have confession with because, by now, he knew me and I figured he probably would not roast me (or at least not as badly) as the previous priest.
This confession was vastly different from my previous confession.
He did not roast me at all.
Instead, he showed me God’s love and mercy. As he spoke, I felt God comforting me. My spiritual director treated me with kindness and compassion. I cried not because of shame or anger this time, but because my heart was touched by God’s loving embrace. My spiritual director gave me a penance that no other priest had given me before and the penance was one that revealed God’s love.
I think I only want to have confession with this priest from now on.
But I know that’s not possible.