Today wasn't really an extraordinary day, but I did receive the sacrament of reconciliation followed by gelato dessert with family and friends - it's a little tradition we in our faith community call "Confession and Coffee."
Any time I receive this sacrament I feel renewed spiritually. And happily, I sin a lot, so I get to feel renewed a lot. I know it may be difficult for my Protestant friends and family to understand why the Catholic Church believes in confession. If you want to try to learn why, check this out. Or this, which is a bit easier to read.
Tonight's confession was more difficult than usual. I've been in a spiritual desert valley lately, with many factors contributing. In fact, I'm coming out of one of the bleakest phases I've ever experienced. To sit in front of the priest and name my sins when I am feeling as down as I am was an act of sheer will; my heart really wasn't in it. I still feel like I'm tottering as I write this, as though the narrow streams of joy that have been trickling back into my life might suddenly be schlorped up by the parched sands around me, leaving me for dead once again. But all I can do is go on, one day at a time, continuing to trust, persevering in faith, ever hopeful in the love I have been shown by the work of Christ on the cross.
But I know that the power of the sacrament is real, and this emboldens my joy.