If you read my post from last week, you’ll remember that I mentioned that I was going to spend the weekend at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside with some men from my church to practice the spiritual discipline of silence for 36 hours. Well, I didn’t manage to stay absolutely silent for all 36 hours, but I did learn a lot during the process.
Reflection from week at Prince of Peace Abbey
First off, the abbey was beautiful. If you ever have an opportunity to visit it, please do. It’s located in the hills north of Oceanside, and the peace and quiet offered there is unmatched, as are the views and paths.
Anyway, the theme of my church’s retreat was resolving conflict. The priest leading the retreat talked a lot about proper ways to ask forgiveness and ask for apologies, and the retreatants had plenty of time to ponder the many things told us by Father Dart.
However, this post is not going to be about resolving conflict, it’s going to be about a Lenten practice that I feel is important: confession.
Confessing sins to others
Confession is something that I feel is really lost on modern Protestants, but it’s a commandment of the Bible found in James 5:16, so it should be followed. Basically, what I feel should be done with this commandment is this: Find someone you can trust, find a private place and confess to him or her and to God the transgressions you have committed. Not only will this force you to think about the wrong things that you've done, but it will bring to light your prevailing sins, and also relieve your conscience.
Now, considering that most of you probably don’t go to church regularly, and even less of you go to a church that offers confession as a sacrament, it might be harder for you to find someone you can trust to give a confession to. But if you do, I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
Lent, as astute readers should know, is a penitential season preparing one’s heart for the fullness of Easter. This makes Lent the perfect time to give a confession. If you have access to someone you trust enough to confess to, then by all means do it. Spend some time in prayer thinking about what it is you need to confess, and while confessing, don’t think of it as telling your friend or teacher or pastor or whoever, but think of it as confessing your sins directly to God with someone listening who will keep you accountable.
A look inside Holy Week services
Next week, look for a post about Holy Week. I’ll be going over the meanings of the different services that take place during the week. It’s the second-to-last post in this series, and hopefully I'll do the topic justice.
Andrew Entzminger is a writer and blogger for The Chimes. He attends St. Matthew’s Anglican Catholic Church each Sunday in Newport Beach, enjoys listening to music and, on feast days, getting frustrated with Angry Birds Space.<?em>