Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just once...

You "Young Fogey" Priests out there will relate to this.

Picture it: You're a Priest helping out at one of these penance services that are about to spring up all around, now that Advent is around the corner (I know this because I'm getting the requests to help at them!). You get that person who treats the Sacrament with that casual indifference that secretly causes you to have the desire to go all "Old Testament wailing and gnashing of teeth" on them. But you ignore their "blah" attitude, talk to them, give them a penance, and then ask them for an Act of Contrition. And what do you get? "Oh my God, I am hardly sorry for offending thee and I... and I... uh, I... [giggle, giggle] I can't remember it, Father. Oh, well." [giggle, giggle]

Just once, I'm dying to say, "Oh, that's O.K. God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself, and sent... and sent... [giggle, giggle] Well, what do you know, I can't remember the absolution, either! Well, I guess you're not getting forgiven!" [giggle, giggle]


"Oh, Father, I can't remember."
Why I oughtaaaaaa

7 comments:

SJH said...

Well I've met some priests who have trouble remembering the words of absolution!(Though only once one who appeared not to know the essential part).

ignorant redneck said...

1) I once went to confession to a priest who made up his own absolution that specifically said "it is not I who absolve you but Christ who absolves you"

2)I seem to recall that Padre Pio only absolved one in three people who presented themselves for confession, and that if the priest believes that the penitient isn't contrite or has no intentionof repenting or avoiding their sin he is supposed to withhold abolution.


This happened to me in highschool because i wouldn't acknowlege voting for a Jerry Ford as a sin.

Barb, sfo said...

You mean they no longer give out a "handy-dandy Act of Contrition with the new inclusive language" card at these events?

I prefer regular Confession, thanks. Otherwise I kind of have that "drive-by absolution" feeling.

Victoria said...

When I went to Confession in the city the priest handed me a card with the Act of Contrition printed on it.

A Simple Sinner said...

At the parish where I confess, (and confessions are heard DAILY from "11am until the last one is heard"- there IS a line) the Act of contrition is printed and framed on the wall in the confessional.

Maybe you should print it out, and invest $1.00 at Staples/Office Max to get it laminated and take it with you...

Please bare in mind that some of us who went to Catholic grade school got the shoddiest of formation, went years at a stretch without confessing and may not remember/know or have ever been taught a proper AOC.

I know my own act of contrition is an amalgamation of several I have taught myself over the years and I have probably never repeated it the same way twice in my life...

I understand your frustration, on the other hand, I am glad they are there. I have family members - cradle Catholics - who have confided in me that they have not been to confession in over a decade... I skipped it for 6 years!

Having the AOC down perfect, was the least of my worries when I finally got to confession... which was in a quiet area of a closed hotel dining room after a few hours of talking to a priest at a wedding reception!

Andie said...

I love this because of the specific qualifier that the "penitent" does not appear to be taking the confession seriously, and therefor is probably not really penitent. There's a huge gap between the nervous laugh of someone who's been away for a while and the flippant snicker of someone checking a box.

So, in short, this gave me a hearty chuckle.

Ludwig Windthorst said...

I never learned about the contrition until a few years ago. No priest ever told until I came to an old priest who was a little stern. He asked me about the act and - having confessed quite often before - I didn't know what to do or say.