It must be strange, to take confessions.
How do you manage? As the masses come before you, spewing their dirtiest wrongs before your feet, what things go through your head? Do you pity them as you watch them fidgeting, with shifty eyes outside the window? Or some instead calm and silent, waiting to be absolved from the guilty burden on their shoulders. Do you wish them well as they depart, hoping that God will bless their endeavors to repent, to improve, to live a good life? Do you pray that grace and forgiveness would fall upon their souls?
Or perhaps your thoughts run on a different track. Mayhap you see them for the umpteenth time, saying the same exact thing, for the same exact sin, as the very first time they came to confess. And then you think that they might as well not come, because they haven’t really tried. You think that in their hearts they have no real desire to repent, and that they only come out of obligation. And if people do this out of duty and not in truth, well, every word they say to you could be a lie. Perhaps this goes through your mind and you begin to despise and mistrust them, silencing a weary sigh and forcing yourself to sound inviting when you see them outside the window yet again.
I don’t know what it’s like, to take confessions.
But one last thing I wonder, and I wonder it the most of all, is how you can stand holding the foulest secrets of the world in your heart. Maybe you don’t hold them all, whispering them to a fellow brother or sister when you finish your tasks. But if you do manage to keep them and not break I admire your strength.
I have had those dearest to me lay their souls open, and I’ve seen a mere glimpse of their inner monstrosities. The disgusting, enthralling depths of their hearts put in me a strange weight. I feel in myself an oddness…not quite pity, not quite fear, and not quite sadness…or perhaps it is all of them at once, plus a little more. Like a mother trying to comfort her child and chase the shadows away, I want to help, to fight for them, to fix their wrongs with what I think is right; because surely that would be better than what they’ve had all along. And then I realize, when I bare my soul to them, to myself, and to my God, that I am no better. That in my head lies nothing but an altered version of their helpless fantasies and sickening wrongs. That I, who would erase their sins and replace them with good, would only warp and twist and ruin if I tried.
Do you ever have these thoughts, when you take a confession? Does the weight of knowing a thousand sins become unbearable when you realize that you are powerless to fix them? That you, too, are a mere human, who alone can do nothing but try and fail again and again and again? Or do you push the confessions from your mind, ignoring them in full until you forget?
I am not an official in the church. I have no power of my own, and the masses would not come to me if I asked.
I will never have to take confessions.
Of that I am glad. Because seeing the wrongs of those closest to my heart will only ever bring before me the utter darkest depths of my soul. And when I see all these I can only cry, Oh God, Save Us.
I’ve had the ideas for this swirling around in my head for about a month and I finally sat down and wrote it. It’s rough and rather incorrect, I’m assuming, since I’m not Catholic and therefore am unfamiliar with how confessions work and all that…anyhoo, please feel free to comment, give critique, and suggest changes. I like how the concept came out but I’m not entirely set on all the wording yet. 🙂