Visual Examination of Conscience
This will only take a minute! Check out this picture from World Youth Day:
and then look at this video
What was your first reaction? Was it,
(a) "Oh my gosh, look at all those people going to confession! How great!"
Or was it,
(b) "Why do those confessionals have to be so ugly? This is what's wrong with the Church today."
(c) "Those confessionals look Masonic to me."
(d) "The asymmetry is a sign of Satanism."
(e) "What a field of monstrosities; it almost look like a graveyard. CULTURE OF DEATH, CULTURE OF DEATH!!!"
If your answer was (a), then you're fine. Enjoy your Thursday.
If your answer was (b), (c), (d), (e) or any other spontaneous ejaculation of dismay, disgust, fear, loathing, or horror, then there is something wrong with you. (And no, I didn't make any of those comments up. I read all of those ideas this morning, all sincerely expressed in response to the pictures and videos above.)
Well, maybe that's not fair. Our first thoughts are often stupid, and maybe our back hurts, or maybe there was a mosquito in our room all night and we woke up feeling cranky.
So we're not completely responsible for our first thoughts. How about your second thought, though? If you got angry or annoyed when you saw all those people going to confession, and then you stayed annoyed, then I repeat: there is something wrong with you. You need to go to confession, because you have gotten yourself so twisted around that you can no longer identify a very obvious good when it's spread out before you in a field of glory. Why would you do that to yourself? Why would you look at a hundreds of people being healed and saved and say, "It's not good enough?"
This is a sincere question, and I'm sorry that I'm not expressing it more gently, but I've rewriten this post four times, and this is as good as it's gonna get. What would please you? What would make you happy? A single, heavy, wooden confessional with a line of kneeling penitents five miles long? I guess you would have also liked it if Jesus had told the crowds, "Suck it up, losers! I didn't come here to make your life convenient! Bring your own damn fish and loaves next time!" or "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But most importantly, make ye sure you don't remit any sins unless there is velvet and mahogany unto everywhere."
Are the confessionals ugly? Of course they're ugly. They're light, portable, and Brazilian. Nobody was going for subtlety or delicacy here. What they were going for was PEOPLE HAVING THEIR SINS FORGIVEN. Mission accomplished.
Enjoy your Thursday.