Confession: It's not about me
We can all fall into the trap of narcissism. We begin to interpret all of reality around us according to our own views and perspectives. Narcissism always leads to sin, because it is precisely a loss of perspective.
Blessed or Victim?
Each one of us has the opportunity to view ourselves as blessed or as victims. When we are aware that we are blessed, this changes radically the way that we look at the sacrament of confession. Some people come to confession, looking to justify themselves. They say:
"I am basically a good guy. I don't lie. I don't cheat, I haven't killed anybody."
They miss the point.
Others tell stories about the tragedies they have suffered during their lives. While this is sad, it is not the point of confession. Rather, we should open ourselves up to the reality that God is trying to enter into our lives and change us for the better.
"It is not sin which is at the heart of the sacramental celebration but rather God's mercy, which is infinitely greater than any guilt of ours." (Pope Benedict XVI, March 7, 2008)
When we focus on ourselves too much in confession, we forget that it is fundamentally the loving encounter of a sinner with the Lord, who has saved him from sin.
Making it about Jesus
When we make the experience of the sacrament of Confession more about encountering Jesus, we are able to re-play the role of so many sinners from the Gospel who had a redemptive encounter with the Lord. We can think of the Pharisees, the lame man, the man born blind, and others. They are all encouraged by the possibility to enter into a new relationship of grace and love with him.
Getting out of ourselves
So often, we are our own greatest enemies. We can get sucked into a mentality of self-seeking and selfishness. Taking advantage of confession to put the focus on Jesus is the perfect antidote. The less we worry about ourselves, the happier we are.
Pushing back against a culture of hedonism
"It's all about me!"
Too often, this is the message that is being pushed. But, it never leads to true happiness. Rather, we should learn to be like the saints and seek to serve God and others. This frees up a lot of space to be in a healthier relationship with ourselves. The more we seek ourselves, the less we find ourselves. But often, when we forget about ourselves, we find ourselves.
Pope Benedict XVI. (2008). Address to Participants in a Course on the Internal Forum