Monday, January 16, 2012

Fainting in Confession and Getting Upset Over It

Raise your hand if you blacked out during your confession this weekend. *raises hand*

There is really no big explanation for why it happened, it just did. I was fine all day. I drove to the parish (with isn't the closest one but the one in which our - mom's and my - preferred confessor is at) and I parked the car. I walked into the parish, genuflected, and got in line. I was in line may 15 minutes and I looked around at the beautiful stained glass windows in the parish. I went into the confessional, knelt down, and started my confession. About halfway through my list (yes, I make lists using one of the confession apps; I want to get everything in) I suddenly felt lightheaded and weak. I told my confessor that I felt dizzy and sat in the chair inside the confessional. I continued to go through the list of my confessions when I started feeling like I couldn't breathe, I broke out in a cold sweat, and I blacked out. The last thing I remembered was my confessor saying he absolved me from my sins (even the ones I didn't get a chance to confess), him telling me what my penance was, and then getting out and grabbing the nearest pew just in time for me to collapse onto it. It probably sounds more dramatic than it was but that's how it happened. I remember someone asking me if I was okay and being asked if I needed a medic which means it probably looked pretty bad.

The entire time I was in the pew (trying to control my breathing and to move a little since my hands and feet went into full on tingle mode) only one thought came to mind: I was upset that I didn't finish my confession. I was really, really not happy... to the point where I cried over it. I did it silently as I didn't want to draw attention to myself. I had gone nearly a month without going to confession (which is long for me since I like to go once every two weeks - even for venial sins) and I hadn't gone to Mass in nearly that long due to the Christmas Day food poisoning followed by two weeks of a nasty cold that kept me in bed and quarantined to the house. I remembered my penance so I did that while trying to get back to normal. Hey, just because I felt like burnt crumbs didn't mean I was going to push that aside. It took a couple more minutes to get myself well enough to walk back to my car (with the help of my mom). As soon as the fresh air hit me and I was safely in my car, I started to slowly feel better. As soon as I felt myself well enough to drive (I have to since my mother hasn't driven since a terrible accident that nearly cost her her life), I made my way back towards the house. I felt fine as soon as we left. It was bizarre.

The one thing I learned about this incident, besides "wow, I really do get embarrassed easily (even when I can't control certain things)" is that I really do take going to confession and being able to receive the Eucharist more seriously than I thought... which is good. I felt horrible that I didn't finish my confession properly but I still felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I'm not saying that if you feel like crumbs and don't think you could make it to/through confession you should still go (if I hadn't felt well, I would've waited to go to the Cathedral during the week for their noon time confession) but it just reminded me of how important it is to go to confession.

Not get all morbid on y'all but we have to remind ourselves of our mortality at least once in a while. For me, frequent confession helps me break out of my habits that can lead to sinning (though sometimes I have to go a couple of times to break the nastier ones). I like to remind myself that we, as human beings, make mistakes and that we're not perfect... but that we Catholics have such a wonderful sacrament that allows us to not get or keep ourselves away from God because of whatever sins we commit. Of course I don't mean that we can do whatever we want and think it's okay because we can go to confession to "erase" or strike those bad deed from our "record" later on (this is actually a sin itself). We all do things or have done things we've not been proud of but if we are truly repentant of those actions, we can go confess them and we can then continue to receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ (say it with me: transubstantiation is awesome). It helps keep our souls healthy and helps us get that much closer to Heaven when we do eventually pass on. This episode, as well as my father's story (I wrote about it in my first published article on Envoy Magazine), have really driven home this message. I know that the next time I go to confession (knowing me, it will be this weekend to get in whatever I left out last time -- for my own peace of mind) I will thank God for the opportunity to do so.

Anyway, just wanted to share this experience with y'all. I actually have a ton of reading to do (a couple of chapters so that I am prepared for tomorrow's classes) and this was kind of procrastinating. lol. Oops. Well, it was for a good cause. lol. ;)

I hope y'all had a great weekend. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D


Katie@NFP and Me said...

Glad to hear you're doing well.

Oh and yes, Transubstantiation is awesome. :)

Joseph Sund said...

I have fainted during Mass.. Never confession though. Tried the app once.. Cell phone even behind the screen is weird for me...


Evelyn said...

I am really happy i found your blog. I fainted during confession yesterday. We had our lenten penitential service and I went with my family. I knelt down and had finished confessing my sins. And then the priest started giving me advice which I really wanted to hear because I had been feeling kind of lost and I needed some guidance. And suddenly I started seeing stars and then I just passed out. I had the same feeling you had, I was uspet that I hadn't finished the confession and I started to cry. Unfortunately for me though, I think everyone saw me :(