The whole piece is well worth reading, but here’s an excerpt:
I sometimes wonder what happened to tears of repentance. Are we so impoverished in our experience of God’s mercy that we are afraid to let the tears flow? I lament how little some people benefit from the grace of Confession, limiting themselves to a laundry list that barely scratches the surface. The quality of our Confiteor may influence the degree of love we experience in Communion. I am not referring only to precision in confessing our sins, but also to the depth of our openness and honesty with ourselves and God concerning our hopes, desires, and emotions. As we mature in simplicity, and also become more adept at detecting and experiencing repressed emotion, then our hearts are more open to receive the fullness of love and grace that Christ offers us in the Eucharist.
Hmmmm. If this is the case for the small proportion of Catholics who avail themselves of regular Confession, what about the rest of those who rarely go?
Oh, the grace to be “repented” to have the Holy Spirit convict one’s heart and bring those sweet tears!
I had a little trouble with “getting” sacramental Confession at first. I had had many moments over the course of my spiritual life before entering the Church where I experienced real repentance and cleansing without the mediation of a priest.
And then, reading Father Z’s blog about how you are supposed to confess your sins in kind and number, I thought, well, my problem is not so much that I have done this sin 20 times and that sin 8 times etc. my problem is my sin nature, that incorrigible, selfish, Old Man and, without God’s grace, my utter helplessness.