Confessions of a Young Confessor
I have been a priest for a little over a year now. The one ministry I was most enthused about being a part of was hearing confessions. This isn’t because I’m morbidly fascinated by the thought of having people tell me all the bad stuff they’ve done. The truth is, I don’t really care. It’s not important to me what someone’s done wrong, even if it has to do with embarrassing intimate details or possible crimes. All I’m interested in is if you’re being honest with yourself and with God.
The more confessions I hear the more I thank God for the grace of being able to be a minister of this sacrament. I love it, first and foremost, because I get to dispense the forgiveness of the Lord to my fellow Christians who seek it. Speaking the words of absolution is a very special joy in my priesthood that is unlike any other. I also love it because, for me, it has deepened my understanding of sin. I have always known, intellectually, that all people are sinners. I have only really been acquainted with the details of that reality on a personal level up until a year ago. Having heard the sins of others has allowed me, in a much deeper way, to come to terms with the reality of sin in the lives of people who are not me. All of this has given me a more profound appreciation for the human condition, a certain compassion on my fellow Christians that wasn’t there before, and a greatly enhanced gratitude for what Christ did for us on the Cross.
I love hearing confessions; not because of the sins committed but because of the sins forgiven. I am grateful to be invited, by God and the penitent, into the intimate encounter and moment of forgiveness between the Lord of Lords and his beloved daughter or son. It has made me a more understanding person, a better priest, and a more intentional penitent myself. Being on the other side of the screen has brought many new joys and sorrows to my life. Hearing confessions has been so much more than I expected it would be.
- Fr. Peter
Fr. Peter is a 32 year old priest for the Diocese of Buffalo. He was ordained in 2018 and is currently serving as a parochial vicar at St. Amelia's parish in Tonawanda. During his free time Fr. Peter likes to hang out in coffee shops, write poetry, and train for his new sporting hobby, amateur boxing.