May 2018 Magazine Letter
My husband was Roman Catholic. I remember the rush we had before Whitsunday to fit in his Easter confession when he said sorry for anything he had done wrong. He did not like going to the priest and always left it to the last week, along, I suspect, with many other people. There was always a queue.
During Lent this year we had soup and roll and a chat. In this season from Easter to Whitsunday, we can revisit the chat about what we mean by confession, or saying sorry, particularly when it involves another individual. It was interesting to hear various people’s thoughts on this subject, which is relevant at any time of the year. Someone said something to the effect that a boss of a firm told someone in charge of a department that he should not have apologised to one of the staff, as it would undermine his authority. Another said that confessing to God that you had made a mistake and were sorry was all important. It was not necessary then to admit a mistake or apologise to the wronged person. Others said that it was always right to admit, and apologise if one was in the wrong. I wondered, when thinking afterwards, if it is easier to be contrite to God, in the comfort of one’s home, or in Church, than to the wronged person face to face. (I am not good at thinking of things to say at a meeting. My thoughts seem to come when it is too late to speak. Are you like that too?)
Where does each of us stand on this subject? Nick Fawcett in his book “Daily Prayer” says…..” although some might see saying sorry as a sign of weakness, it requires great humility and immense strength of character.” and “Have you wronged somebody…? Have you the courage to admit to them your mistake, and ask for forgiveness?”
No one on this earth is always the one who is right. Do I, do we, admit our mistakes and apologise when we have been wrong? It may be very hard to do this. However, the wronged person is also suffering, and finding it very hard, until we admit our fault and ask for their forgiveness. It is always wise to apologise sooner than later. Later may be too late to do this. God, who is always with us, will see and hear as we acknowledge our wrongdoing to this person.
May God bless us always and in all ways.