Last Sunday, I prepared myself for our community's Sacrament Sunday - a monthly gathering where we come to experience anew healing and renewal through the sacraments. It's an occasion too for seeing my fellow brothers who I do not get use to see that often. Father Confessor arrived around 2 pm. When it was my turn to confess I took a deep breath. It is always like this - I feel very anxious whenever I step inside the confessional room face to face with Father Confessor. I guess it's only normal to feel some jitters but Fr. Confessor made me feel at ease. Confession is a moment of grace. I just need to be open and trusting.
Father forgive me for I have sinned. My last confession was last Holy Week and since then I committed the following sins. For the past few weeks I was struggling with unchaste thoughts most of the time. This often led me to have recourse to online gay pornography - pictures and videos of men - from the alluring and seductive poses to the most perverted sensual depravity. After viewing porn I would often masturbate, sometimes daily though there were times that I was sober. In the past week or so I also went cruising inside the malls looking for "some action." I spent many hours wandering around and often staying in men's restroom waiting for somebody who would be willing to do it. There was even this guy whom I had a close encounter with wherein I touched his private part. I felt sorry and ashamed of myself afterwards.
I also want to confess that I already left my Marian community in my parish temporarily. I informed them that I needed some time to straighten things out. I did that because I feel I'm becoming a big hypocrite. I really needed time to face my issues. I feel ashamed because I could not even live up to the expectations of my Marian community. I don't even have the discipline to pray the Rosary everyday which I should and I always act differently whenever I am with them. It's not the real me so I hope Our Lady understands and I know She does. Lastly, I'm sorry for being so impatient with the people around me and with my work. I guess that's all I could say for now.
If you happened to eavesdrop inside you would hear these same words from me. After this, Father Confessor gave me some advice regarding my addictions. He stressed to me the importance of having a stable prayer life, support group, the Sacraments, spiritual readings, and looking for "good" people to develop a healthy relationship with. What he meant was I needed to deal with my "intimacy" issue. He said that could be one of the reasons why I went around cruising inside the mall looking for other guys. Bullseye. I just nodded and acknowledged this fact. I really needed to work out and develop my relationships with others. After this, he gave me penance which is to spend some quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament for 15 minutes. He made me recite the Acts of Contrition afterwards and then he pronounced these most comforting words: "I absolve you from your sins." to which I replied Amen.
I left the Confessional feeling relieved and with a renewed sense of hope. God has forgiven me of my sins and I can now freely receive Him in the Eucharist a little later.
As a struggling person I always find myself in need of the sacraments, and I consider myself fortunate for having the opportunity to receive the sacraments at least once a month. I am also thankful that I have a fixed confessor who also is in a sense my spiritual director whom I can go to on a regular basis. Whenever I attend mass outside of my small community, I can't help but be astonished on so many faithful receiving the Eucharist when only very few of them have recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. Whenever I feel that I've done something terribly wrong, I do not receive the Eucharist at Mass. I just sit there and pray. I have a great fear of committing sacrilege and offending the Lord all the more by receiving Him unworthily and so I content myself with communing with Him spiritually until the next Sacrament Sunday arrives and I get myself to avail of the Sacrament of Penance.
I am sharing this thing because I notice that some people who can avail themselves easily of the Sacrament of Penance do not take advantage of it fully. I dare say that they lose many graces by doing so. Receiving the Sacrament of Penance at least once a month is how the late Pope John Paul the Great defined "frequent reception". In my spiritual life, very few things can compare with the experience of surrendering my miseries and being forgiven afterwards. God knows I am weak but as long as I trust in His mercy I will keep coming back to the embrace of my loving Father.
"For this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate." - Luke 15:24