3 Reasons I Didn’t Like the Sacrament of Penance

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3 Reasons I Didn’t Like the Sacrament of Penance

But am grateful for the lessons it taught me

1. Having no sins

I remember being very nervous about it. I turned to my best friend and asked her what she planned to say.

2. Hypocrisy

I felt like the stereotypical mobster who would kill someone on Saturday night, then go to church on Sunday and be absolved of his sin. Only to do it again the following week.

3. Penance

I never liked that the priest would give me something to do like pray 3 Hail Mary’s and 4 Our Fathers.

But as an adult…

These same three reasons I didn’t like to go to penance are now the same three reasons I think asking God for forgiveness is so important.

What I realize now that this sacrament offered me was a good foundation.

1. I am a Sinner

It gave me the foundation to recognize that I sin and I need to ask for forgiveness.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8, NIV)

There are things that I say, things that I do, and things that I think that are wrong.

2. Hypocrisy is why we need to confess

Many people don’t like to go to church because it’s full of hypocrites.

I actually used to feel the same way. But then I was reminded that it’s because we are hypocrites that we NEED church.

It’s not the “good” people who go to church. It’s those of us who are sinners who need God.

3. Penance is important

Although I still don’t think that reciting rote prayers is the way to do this, I do believe that there has to be an outward expression of repentance.

What the Sacrament has taught me:

  • I am a sinner and in need of God’s forgiveness
  • I need God’s forgiveness daily (sometimes hourly)
  • Penance is not just sorrow or regret but a real desire not to sin again

I am grateful for being raised in the Catholic church.

Although I have since left Catholicism, I do feel that it has given me an incredible foundation of faith.


( First featured on Medium platform February 8, 2020)

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