Ah, confession. I admit I never really much understood the Catholic practice of confession to a priest; as a United Methodist growing up, the idea of confession – while challenging – nonetheless seemed to belong squarely between myself and the (supposedly male) God that (apparently) loves and forgives us while still calling us to live into a more perfect vision of our individual selves and of the kin-dom. But to confess things to a minister? In a little booth? The very idea gave me the heebie-jeebies. Probably even more so since my father and/or stepmother were usually said minister. Well, that wasn’t a common Catholic thing either, I suppose.
I took confession very seriously, however. I firmly believed that we have all sinned and fallen short, and that we can and must do better – for our own lives and wellbeing, for our loved ones, for humanity, and for the whole Creation. Confession was like the first step toward healing – like a diagnosis; without admitting what was going wrong – or what was inadequate – how could we take steps toward what was right?
Continue reading “Forgive Me, Mother, For I Have Sinned: Earth, Ancestors, and the Role of Confession by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee”
Good afternoon, Fr. John. I’m here for confession. No, I’d like the curtain back, please. I want you to see my face. I really need to talk to you, get my bearings. But this confession will not be solely about my sins, for, unfortunately, I am not sure I will ever change my ways.
Does that exclude me? Is Catholicism a club? Should my twin daughters, five years old, be subjected to scorn and pity that their mother is a sinner? That they were born in sin? They don’t look like sin, to me. They are light, and love, and happiness. They have shaped me, taught me, brought me into the woman I was meant to be. Is it wrong of me to want to do the same for them? Is it better to turn me out and lose two potentially pure beings who will make their own choices in their religion and could be devout Catholics, or put up with me in the hopes that my children will be more worthy?
I’m here because I like you, you know. I like Catholicism. It’s in my blood, my heritage, my family. And where I’m from, everyone belongs.
I was baptized, received communion, was confirmed, attended youth group. I went to an all-girls Catholic college my freshman year. Full-ride because I’m fairly smart, and I work hard. That’s where I lost Him, you see. I don’t know how, or why, but one early fall day when the leaves were crisp and bright but not yet falling, I looked up at the chapel on campus, and He was gone. Or He seemed gone. Continue reading “Confession by Darlena Cunha”
In John’s Gospel, Pilate’s response to Jesus’ self-identification as the one who “came into the world to testify to the truth” is a simple question: “What is truth?” His question hangs in the air as he moves from that conversation to the throngs he sought to please. Pilate took the temperature of that crowd to decide Jesus’ fate even though he, himself, found no reason to charge Jesus with a crime. Pilate asks the question from a position of power—literally holding life and death in the ambivalence and maybe even in the sincerity of his words.
The “t” word has been center stage in our collective conversation of late with Lance Armstrong’s Oprah-event confession and the Manti Te‘o girlfriend-dying-of-cancer hoax at Notre Dame . The Internet is abuzz with reactions to both confessional moments. Lance Armstrong’s confession apparently didn’t play well with the general public. And people are weighing in about whether Manti Te‘o could really be so naïve or if he just didn’t know how to tell everyone the truth when the story got out of hand. Continue reading “Truth and Consequences–This Feminist’s Perspective? by Marcia Mount Shoop”