My First Confession

By Narayan Romano
June 20, 2017

“Father, I stole some bubble gum…I said a few curse words…” Being only eight years old and knowing nothing about confession, the one thing I did know was I needed sins! I figured bubble gum theft from my brother and curse words would work.

First confession can be a frightful experience. Imagine at the tender young age of eight walking into a small dimly lit room all by yourself with not a person in sight. I had to bear my soul to a screen. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I expressed my sins with gravity. The priest seemed like he had heard these before and didn’t seem too concerned for me. I was relieved. He gave me penance. Success! Or so I thought.

When I exited the confessional, I noticed my mother who was waiting for me looked shocked. Her jaw was on the floor. “Philip!” she exclaimed, “the next time you give your confession you must be more quiet. Your sins were heard all throughout the church!” Oh, no! I thought it was supposed to be a private affair. Because of the screen, I wasn’t sure if the priest could hear me so I loudly broadcasted my sins for all to hear! Oops.

I no longer go to confession (not because of this traumatic experience!). Since coming onto the spiritual path, I like to converse with Yogananda. He is my father, mother, friend, and confessor guide wrapped into one. He and Divine Mother know everything anyway. I go to the confessional stall of my own heart and offer it to Yogananda. I pray that he change my darkness into light.

We all make mistakes in life. When we err, one tendency of our ego is to hide or to flat out deny we made a mistake. It’s like a child who eats a chocolate cake and the icing is smeared on his face. Our Mother asks us if we had the cake and we say, “No, Mom, I didn’t eat the cake!”

The other option is to say, rather, “Mother I’ve been eating from the cake of my mundane desires and delusions. I’m sick and tired and want to come home to Thee!” We have a ton of clay that can be turned into spiritual gold. What a great opportunity! Our self effort draws the grace of God–the ultimate cleanser and transformational tonic. I’m reminded of a line from a song by Swami Kriyananda, “Every effort we spend gives more strength in the end, till our gladness in life’s ever new!”

Where do we start?

Open your heart to God. Be honest, with yourself and don’t play games with Divine Mother. Try praying simply and naturally like a child, “Lord, you know my troubles…will you help me?”

As Saint Augustine said in his Confessions, “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they find their rest in Thee.” Surely, this is a confession we can all share with God!

May we all find our eternal rest in Him.