So, just like Alexander had his horrible, very bad, no good day, I had my horrible, very bad, no good confession experience today.
I confessed my sins as I usually do, on my fingers as I’ve prepared them, without excuse or extraneous information, thought a minute while I went quickly through the 10 commandments again and said “That’s about it”. He sat there the whole time with his eyes closed. He was silent a minute and then he started berating me. He told me my sins were “terrible” and that I had betrayed the Lord’s trust. He went on a bit about a loving Lord who suffers by our (or more specifically, MY) sins as well as the rest of the world that has to suffer with my bad temper and sins. He barked at me to say my act of contrition, absolved me and told me to leave. He was angry and acted disgusted with me. I left in tears. I said my penance (not a harsh penance at all…3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Mary’s) in the car because I just had to get out of there. Still, it was a bit before I could stop crying and drive home.
I have no idea why he was so angry with me. The sins I confessed were fairly “normal” ones, I would think (although, yes, all sin is grievous in the eyes of the Lord, it’s true). I didn’t confess anything violent or even particularly nasty. Perhaps he though I was not truly repentant or that I was just fulfilling a “chore” (after waiting over 30 minutes, I was a bit impatient, true, but I don’t feel like I expressed that in my confession…it certainly wasn’t his fault or his idea to keep me waiting. Hey, thank Him there was a line, right?). They WERE the same sins I’ve confessed over and over…I hate them, but still find myself back in the confessional every 2-3 months with them. Yet, it was my first confession with this priest…he hadn’t been the one to hear me confess the same thing time after time.
I just don’t get it; I’ve never had this experience before. Nobody’s yelled at me in confession. I’ve had priests who were a little impatient to get going or priests who didn’t seem particularly interested. I’ve even had priests tell me my sins didn’t warrant confession (when I know that they do), but I’ve never had a priest take my sins so…personally.
I’m confused and upset. I feel like I opened up the ugly part of myself that I hate and would not let anyone else but Christ see, not liking it, but at least expecting mercy and kindness. Instead, some angry man came out and started talking about “terrible” and “ugly” and “bad”. I lector at Mass and teach CCD, so there’s really no way to avoid him, but I’ll be going to a different confessor at a different parish…that’s for sure!
Anyone leave the confessional wishing you never went in? Tips for getting over it?