Confessions, On Repeat



Do you ever get the feeling, when examining your conscience, that the list is almost verbatim from last month’s confession?

I know I do.

Month, after month, I approach the Sacrament of God’s mercy, having committed the same litany of sins. It’s hard not to become disheartened, I mean, here I am desiring to become more holy and yet I fall into the same traps over and over again!

The truth is, based on our temperaments and personality, we are likely to commit the same, or similar sins, because these are the ones we fall into more easily, or are more disposed to commit.

Here we discussed the four temperaments, and these give us insight into the way in which we, individually, approach life. They also give us an understanding of where our weaknesses are.

I’m a choleric/melancholic which basically means that I’m a perfectionistic, workaholic overachiever. If there’s something that needs doing, I’ll do it, I’ll rush in and work my hardest. Sounds great right?

Not exactly.

What this really means is that I’m prone to burnout, impatience, pride and frustration. The choleric in me won’t surrender control and holds others to the same unrealistic expectations that I hold myself to. The melancholic in me is never satisfied with the end results and only sees the problems and what could have been done better.

I know that I lack the virtues of humility and patience and yet, every time God presents me with an opportunity to ‘prune me’ I fight him off.

If pride comes before a fall – mine is going to be spectacular.

Sometimes, in my rare moments of one on one (uninterrupted) moments of prayer with God, I jest that He ought not to have made me so competent if He wanted me to be holy!

And yet we both know that I’m smart enough to recognise that I need His help, and yet still too much of a sinner to humble myself to accept it.

We are all smart enough to know that we have to invite, and allow, God to work in our lives, and that our own sin inhibits His work.

So I’d encourage you not to bemoan your all too familiar examination of conscience, but to keep on moving towards God. Continue to make your monthly confession, but seek spiritual direction too, and see if you can find some advice from a good and holy priest to help you on your way.

If there are particular sins that you fall into regularly there’s always a saint you can pray to. Did you know that you can pray to Saint Jerome, in a particular way, if you’re struggling with anger? That’s just one example, there’s a whole communion of saints out there who can pray for you.

If you want to change your confession from perpetual repeat, you’re going to have to prayerfully address your weaknesses.

Because, if you’re like me, you don’t want to be stuck on repeat ad nauseum.


Filed Under: FaithFeaturedSacraments

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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