Kneeling at prayers while waiting for confession has always been a source of comfort for me. Without a doubt it is one of the most satisfying times in my spiritual life next to actual sacramental participation and Eucharistic adoration. In fact it is the preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is often scorned by those without the church and neglected by those within, which I must include even myself among this list.
While confession is a requirement if one has committed a mortal sin, it is still a good thing to participate in for those lesser sins which we call venial. I seems that in my youth, we did try to make confession a weekly sacrament. In the busy world I venture through today, I find myself making the trip with months in between, but its always well worth it.
It is the time before and after the sacrament which I refer to in this post about the “quiet”. This time is spent in preparation and reflection, to account for what sins to confess, and after the sacrament, in prayer as penance, unless some greater task is given.
The Church building is often dark and light comes through the glass, be it stained or clear. Even without lighting, most churches will have a greater illumination toward the altar as part of the design, for there is a light which keeps vigil there, a candle or lamp, which indicates and honors the presence of Christ. It is often red and is positioned by the tabernacle behind the altar. Even as I kneel in the quiet of the church, my eyes are drawn to the candle and find peace in what it represents. A silent assurance burning continuously. Other candles are also lit which are vigil lights or prayer candles. Their light sends out a warm glow and often they are gathered together by a shrine or statue of Jesus, Mary or other saints.
In this atmosphere there are hushed whispers of prayer I can hear by others who have come for the sacrament, but they add to the quiet in their own way. It reminds me of the communion of saints, or the mystery of the church; as light, muffled prayers, the smoke of wax and my own petitions mingle. All tied into this mystical experience of the body of Christ.
I leave with the same feeling I always do. Walking out into the bright day, I am at rest and at peace.