Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 30, 32 (Morning)
Psalm 42, 43 (Evening)
The Healing Power of Confession
From Psalm 32: “I acknowledged my sin to you…and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” I hope that all of you have experienced the cleansing power of forgiveness – when we tell someone how hateful, or petty, or mean, or dismissive we have been – and find that we are still loved, cherished, forgiven. It’s humbling, a moment of grace that can take our breath away, bring us to tears.
As Episcopalians we have the liturgical Confession of Sins as part of the Eucharist nearly every Sunday. For me that doesn’t come close to a one-on-one experience when we speak our sins out loud. For that we have the sacrament of Reconciliation of a Penitent. I have participated in this once. The sin I confessed was my insensitive treatment of someone I loved; and I was very hard on myself for what I did. The priest asked if I would ever do it again…and I realized I couldn’t say no. This behavior had deep emotional roots, and I couldn’t promise not to do it again. I felt even more like a failure to confess this weakness. Nevertheless, I was forgiven for my behavior, and for my weakness. I was fortified in my intention to pray for compassion for myself and the other person.
This grace, this gift, this freedom– that I can repent, start with a clean slate, and not bear the burden of guilt. And with this freedom, this unburdening, I am much better able to live according to God’s purpose for my life.
Written by Cathy Campbell
Cathy is a semi-retired professional counselor and Healing Touch Practitioner. She makes a joyful sound in the choir and helps lead the Healing Touch Ministry. She tries to see the spark of Divinity in every person. She advocates for marginalized groups, especially LGBTQ people.