My awkward confessions
I came from a Catholic upbringing. I went to mass every week and confession every month or so. I also attended religion classes and received my sacraments, including confession.
Confession was always a little bit awkward for me. I had one particular experience that was just 10 times more awkward than the rest.
There were 16 of us all sitting in pews waiting to be called into confession. I had so much anxiety about it that when my name was called I was busy staring at the third station of the cross.
“COLLEEN” the lady said, irritated. “Oh, sorry…” I got up and walked toward the alter in my new Chuck Taylors.
I guess I missed the memo that the floors were getting waxed that day because right as I was kneeling in front of the alter I ate shit right in front of Rev. Dillingham. There was stifled laughter and in the heat of the moment I said “Jesus Christ!”
Wrong move. “Don’t say that name unless you expect him to appear,” Dillingham said.
I was a little mortified. We made our way to the confession room and I sat down across from him.
I started my confession with the usual “Forgive me father for my sins, it was been three years since I’ve been to confession.”
I felt like he was judging me. “Three years? What are you doing with your life?” That is what he would have said if he were not a priest.
Then I started confessing things like “I hit my brother, I didn’t do my homework, I said a bad word.”
The priest kept looking at me saying “Mmhmm…mmhmm” in acknowledgment. I took this to mean that I should keep talking so I confessed things that I did and did not do for about a half hour.
The priest finally interrupted me and said “You made a good confession,” to which I responded, “Well what is a bad confession?”
He explained that a bad confession is one in which you don’t really show remorse and you are not honest about everything. Little did he know, I made up a few things that I confessed.
I felt extremely guilty. So guilty that when he told me what my penance was, I forgot. Completely forgot.
There I was in Chuck Taylors, a ripped t-shirt and faded jeans in front of a priest pretending I was sorry for things I may or may not have done.
It was in this moment that I decided I was probably one of the worst Catholics to ever walk into a church.
The priest always looked at me like I was an alien and the awkward eye contact we made continued for the next six years.
I feel like he might still know that I am part heathen. Now I avoid that church at all possible costs.
This is for Towson students who can relate to how awkward confession is, and how awkward being a POF (person of faith) can be. Share some of your own awkward stories with me. I want to make sure I’m not the only one.
Until next time.