the boys

the boys

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kitchen Table Confessions

My hometown church has a practice of having silent confessions.  During Mass the congregation is led by Father Bob in a meditation of confession.  Today was a Confession Sunday.  I was nervous only because I just couldn't imagine that my three boys could sit quietly through a group meditation. 

In the meditation we are asked to picture ourselves at our kitchen table sitting across from Jesus.  We are to speak freely and openly to him about our concerns, our sins, and whatever else is on our hearts.  It is a truly wonderful experience and I encourage each of you to do it in your own time. 

For many Catholics confession can be daunting.   Confessing your sins out loud to anyone takes guts even if it is a Priest you feel will protect your inner most thoughts and actions.  The Priest is the medium to a discussion with Jesus and the Kitchen Table Confession is a more direct, and likely more open and honest, way to confess our sins. 

I was pleased when all three of my boys were able to remain silent throughout the meditation.  I had attempted to educate them ahead of time of what was to occur and they really took an interest in it.  I also thoroughly enjoyed that immediately following the silent confession period both boys openly confessed that they did not keep their eyes closed the entire time.  Love their honesty!

While I won't go in to the details of my own confession for obvious reasons, I think it's safe to say that I, like most parents, had confessions related to my parenting.  Parenting is so hard.  So very, very hard.  Made harder right now just be the sheer lack of sleep due to having a newborn.  It's a reality that every new parent understands.  It is what it is, I always say!

So, for every time (and there are many....too many) that I feel my parenting is sub-par and for the times when I lose my cool and berate myself for not being grateful enough to still have my children to hold tightly in my arms and tell them I love them, I will instead try to come back to this blog and this time and this experience and remember that I am giving my children the best gift a parent can give: a lesson in prayer and a relationship with Jesus. 

I, like everyone, am so very heavyhearted about the tragedy in Connecticut this past week.  I have a kindergartner and I am better off emotionally if I don't try to put myself in a position of the parents who lost their children.  I am better off just to pray for them in every way possible and to raise my children to do the same. 

So tonight, I revisited the Kitchen Table Confession concept with the boys as a bedtime experience.  Justin's very first statement was "Mom, we can't forget to pray for those kids that died."  Oh, I know honey.   Oh, how I know! 

I asked them to pray their own prayers tonight and talk to Jesus in their hearts.  And of course they have little concept of doing anything quietly or silently in their heads so their "silent" discussion with Jesus at bedtime was spoken aloud. 

Justin's:  Jesus, help me not to kick my brother and not yell at my mom and to make better choices.  And please take care of the kids that were killed today.

Leo's:  Jesus, help me get Will's binky when he 'pits it out and not to yell at my brother when he poops and pees a lot. 

(I especially liked how each of them prayed about how to be a better brother to their younger sibling.)

I encourage you to have a Kitchen Table Discussion with Jesus tonight.  I believe the visual aspect of picturing ones self sitting at the table for the discussion gives extra support to the prayer experience.  For me, I am able to picture Jesus' peaceful and open expression as I confess my deepest thoughts and sins.  No judgement.  No worry that it will result in gossip about me or my loved ones.  No hurt feelings.  And most importantly, forgiveness.  Sweet and complete forgiveness. 

No comments:

Post a Comment