The Accidental Resolution That Changed My Life

What if I told you that there’s a New Years resolution that would change your life?  A resolution that will change your habits, your relationships, possibly your whole entire life?  It costs absolutely no money and you could begin it tomorrow.  And on top of all that, what if I told you it only takes 2 hours a month, give or take?

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Let me back up.

As I mentioned last year, I kind of hate New Years Resolutions.  They usually make me feel weak and useless and, well, like a failure.  So last year I gave up trying to change myself and instead I asked God to change me.

Be careful what you pray for, as they say.

I asked God to transform me, and then I promptly forgot about that request.  God, however, did not.

In late January Gianna received her First Reconciliation.  Growing up I had a lot fear surrounding confession.  I wanted to help my daughter be more comfortable with it, so we made a commitment as a family to go to confession once a month.  Practice makes perfect, as they say.  I didn’t intend this to be my New Years resolution, but the timing was right and when I looked back mid-year, I very clearly saw that God answered my prayer of transformation.  So, on the last Saturday of each of the last 12 months*, we’ve taken time to prepare for confession and then headed over to our church.  This monthly practice completely changed our lives.

Would you believe me if I said that this is the best year of my marriage so far?  That I overcame some recurring sins that had plagued me for years?  One or two of them for decades?  Would you trust me when I said that reconciliation is now one of my favorite religious practices?

Do you understand what that means to me?   For one thing, my New Years resolutions didn’t burn in a fiery blaze of late-January failure.  It also means I am free, freer than I have been in my whole adult life.

A skeptic might be thinking, “This lady thinks she’s holier or better than me.”  I assure you that this is not the case.  I go to confession because I am a sinner and I know it.  I go because I’m the prodigal daughter who needs her Father’s forgiveness.  I go because I have felt the grace of confession and it is REAL.  I have seen the fruits of regular confession and they are awe inspiring

Catholic friends: want to change your life?  Want a New Years resolution that makes a lasting difference and won’t leave you feeling defeated?  Want to do it in 2 hours or less per month?  Make a commitment to go to confession monthly and stick to it.  Then sit back and watch as your life transforms before your very eyes.

I have one last confession (ha) to make.  I still cry when I go to reconciliation, only now I cry in thanksgiving for a merciful and loving God that wants to free me (and everyone else) from the bonds of sin.

*There were one or two months where we didn’t make the last Saturday and did it a week early or late instead, but I don’t think God minded. 🙂

{{Before you go, if nothing I’ve said has convinced you so far, I beg you, read this: My Side of the Confessional: What it’s like for a priest.  This article helped me get over a lot of the fears I had about confession.}}

What are your experiences with reconciliation?  I want to hear them!

——-

Resources:

A simple one-page PDF from Busted Halo: How to go to Confession

Find confession times in your area by searching MassTimes.org

Kendra‘s my friend, so I might be biased, but I think her book A Little Book about Confession for Children is good for adults too.

Comments

  1. I love this! I was raised with going to Confession monthly, we always went the first Sat. of the month (and if we coudln’t, we went the next week). I’m so glad my parents taught me that practice and I kept it up all through college and grad school. I definitely think that frequent confession has helped us so much!
    The only 2 Catholic practices my parents really drilled in us was Mass every Sunday and HDO and Confession Monthly. We didn’t do a lot of learning about the saints or other stuff, but we did Mass and Confession and I really think those two practices helped me keep my faith through college and beyond.

    We take our kids (those old enough) every month as well and make a point of going ourselves. We don’t always do every 4 weeks..somtimes it’s 3 and sometimes it’s 5, but I we really try to never go more than 6 weeks without hitting Confession. We’re blessed to live in an area with lots of great options.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…Six Popular New Year’s Resolutions I’m NOT Making and One I Am.My Profile

  2. yes to this!!! It is so very true. The only true conversion I’ve ever experienced is the direct result of the graces received from regular confession.

  3. Very inspiring and a great reminder/challenge!

  4. This is awesome! We began doing the same thing after our oldest made his first confession. I could never stick to that discipline before, but it’s been two and a half years and we have rarely missed a month. When we have, my son points it put and gets us back on track. Such a blessing!
    Catherine recently posted…12 in 2014My Profile

  5. So beautiful!! I can’t wait to share it 🙂
    We’ve had a similar experience. My oldest made his first Penance in March and we’ve been going about every six weeks. One unexpected blessing of parenting and instructing my children in the Faith is that in instructing them and practicing our Faith with them, I’ve come to love and own it more myself 🙂
    Happy New Year, Micaela!
    Theresa@OrdinaryLovely recently posted…Happiness. Lately. December 2014 (Vol 7)My Profile

  6. This is beautiful and challenging. I’m so glad you shared your experience. My oldest won’t do First Reconciliation until next year, but I have been thinking about how my infrequent confession practices might influence his perception of its importance… I really could do so much better.
    Abbey @ Surviving Our Blessings recently posted…Five minutes. Then five more.My Profile

  7. Micaela, first I love everything about your beautiful new site changes. Love, love, love everything! Second, I read this when you first posted it but am not just getting to a computer (way easier to comment since I am a clumsy phone texter).

    Thank you for this so very much! I am terrible with new years resolutions, not great at goal setting, nor list making and all other things very Type P + a healthy dose of phlegmatic. This rings so well with my soul and I am so thankful to make this my resolution and let God work in me in ways He knows best (also, because I feel like I’m floundering over here a bit).

    Thank you thank you thank you! I heart you. And Happy New Year!
    Amanda recently posted…2014 in Photos: Begin AgainMy Profile

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  1. […] the accidental resolution that changed my life and in that post she links to this one that I love – My Side of the Confessional – What […]

  2. […] we receive but once in a lifetime, like matrimony.  Others we receive as often as we like. (*Go to confession, my friends. […]