Sunday, January 03, 2010

the problem with confession

There's a darned good reason people confess to priests, and it's not about intercessors or indulgences: sometimes confession is good for the soul and really bad for the hearer.

Remember the conviction I wrote about in an earlier post? Today I made the mistake of acting on it.  For the past year and a half, I have loved being with our youth, and counted myself selfish for loving it, and despaired over the days that ticked by without a new youth and family minister, and been privately grateful for the delay (see "selfish" above).  A few days ago, I emailed the youth volunteers and hiring committee about meeting to regroup and to ask God precisely what the heck He is trying to teach us. Early this morning I decided I wanted to tell the youth about the delay, about the volunteers needing to regroup and confront the Lord, and ask for their prayers and input.
Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus (Youth Specialties)
After worship, I re-read Mark Yaconelli's "Contemplative Youth Ministry", (btw--thank you, Heather, for recommending this a couple of years back. Or curse you. Whichever.) and remembered once again how much I like working with our kids. And what I love about working with adults. And what I love about my own relationship with God.  Surprise: they are all the same thing.  It's presence: the presence of God, the presence of vulnerability, the presence of truth and light, the presence of hope, the presence of abundant life. Asked in the form of a jeopardy question: What is contemplation, Alex?  I want to not divorce myself from our kids because it's yet another opportunity for God to be present with me, and for me to witness and witness to God's presence in the lives of others.

But confessing to the youth would be wrong, at least in the mea culpa, tell me what you want, here's what I really want, wow that's manipulative way I was considering. So, my priestly friends, offer up a few intercessory prayers for me, assign me some ignatian examens, and let's all just move on. Okay?

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