A couple of weeks ago I whined about how poorly my Lent is going, and while perusing the archives I found I whined about the same thing two years ago. In both cases I note that I had not yet done my Easter duty, going to Confession. Guess what I still haven't done?
I have not been avoiding it, I really have not. Many Catholics I know do. This is how they tend to picture Confession:
And certainly that's the image most non-Catholics have of it.
This has not been my experience as a Catholic. I find Confession, or Reconciliation (its more modern, more friendly, and also accurate name), to be more like a psychologist's office, but with less judgment.
I'm not kidding about that. I've felt a lot more judgment at the gym than in Confession. I even felt more judgment at my old office, that kale-sucking barn of vocal fry and uptalking. People who say they don't make judgments are being untruthful, for everyone does, but Confession specifically focuses on the sin, not the sinner. Unlike at the gym.
My experience of Confession has always been positive, even with -- sometimes especially with -- the more old-fashioned rigorous priests. I don't go skipping out of church, the weight of the world shrugged off, as many of my coreligionists report. That's never happened to me. I suffer from perfectionism, and so I always feel I have been inadequate in holding up my end of the sacrament. But I feel forgiven, and a little more hopeful.
So why haven't I been yet? Scheduling problems -- really. I may try to sneak in during the week, but to arrange that I have to ask the priest. I'm more of a behind-the-screen confessor, enjoying the anonymity, and that's out the window if I have to ask in advance.
Our local parishes only do regular Confession on Saturdays, unfortunately. When I worked in Manhattan it was easy to go, since they had Confession at lunchtime during weekdays. They need more of it down there. They should probably have 24-hour round-the-clock Confession down there.