Too often it seems!!
Yesterday I went to confession and a priest who sort of knows me asked me in a disapproving tone how often I go to confession.
“When the Holy Spirit prompts me” I replied deliberately not feeding his curiosity or judgement.
“How often would that be?” He retorted now determined to get a number out of me!!
“O you know, the Holy Spirit has no particular rhythm” I replied evasevely.
Anticipating the next question I decided to take control over the situation!
“Do you know how powerful confession is Father and the immense graces of healing that Jesus pours out?
Do you realise how much it upsets Jesus that more people don’t go to confession and go more often.
Do you not see a would full of addicts and people with problems and understand how they need healing.
So yes, I do go to confession often because I know of it’s power and you are the only priest that seems to have a problem with it”.
Pride is an awful thing and instead of taking in what I had said and maybe even agreeing with it he retorted by telling me that he has been a priest for 40 years.
In my experience the “40 years card” can be interpreted as “I know more than you child”.
In either case I wasn’t buying it. Whether he was 40 years a priest or 5 minutes he clearly did not appreciate the healing power of Jesus in the sacrament and he was now trying to wriggle his way out of the hole he had just dug himself.
“Is there anything else you want to bring to confession?” He asked me to move the subject on!
“Yes” I said. “I’d like to forgive all these people that think that they know it all because they have studied or whatever and despite Jesus talking to me and teaching me about the spiritual realm for almost 15 years pay no attention and think they know everything. I’m not having a go at you Father but your attitude today did trigger these wounds so I may as well add them to me confession “
He looked at his watch trying to escape…
“I’m sorry if I’m boring you” I smiled.
‘O no, it’s just I’m conscious that there might be someone else waiting”…
Yea right I thought! The confession could have been over 15 minutes earlier had he not opened up this can of worms that had now spilt all over him!
I stayed silent out of respect, got the absolution and left smiling and cheered loudly “alleluia”!!
Later I asked Jesus what He had to say about it all and this is what He said to me:
There will be a lot more of that my child. My priests are not only asleep but they are spreading their sleep to other souls like an anesthesis in a hospital. Their hearts are so little touched by my spirit and the eyes of their understanding so blind to the healing and transforming power of prayer. How sad that they do not know or even want to know who they are.
He always makes me laugh with examples and analogies that I’d never come up with and yet when He speaks to me I feel His profound pain because He so desperately wants us all and especially His priests to really know Him and to really believe in the power that He has given them through their priesthood to heal and deliver.
Of course there are many excellent priests too who please Jesus enormously and are on fire in every way but it is true that they are the minority.
It we as Catholics don’t really know and believe in the real healing power of Jesus then how can our evangelisation be successful? How can we talk to others about Jesus and bring them to the healing power of the sacraments?
What have we then to offer the broken besides a word of sympathy and a half convincing “I’ll pray for you”?
Clearly Jesus wants more than this and indeed there are some places that do offer more than this such as the Divine Retreat Centre in India which has branches all over the world.
More and more of this fire of healing is needed to recentre ourselves on the power of Jesus, the power of prayer, the power of the sacraments and the reality of healing so that instead of condescendingly asking people how often they go to confession our priests will be saying “welcome to this wonderful sacrament, you are right to come often and I too go often myself’.
Have a beautiful day!