Updated: Jun 26, 2019
It took me several years of saying that general confession every Sunday before my mind realized what the last part of it meant. I would either space out after the first few lines or be caught up in the act of stirring up the guilt for some forgotten sin.
The general confession for Sunday Mornings, Rite II:
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against thee in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved thee with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in thy will, and walk in thy ways,
to the glory of thy Name. Amen.
"...forgive us, that we may delight in thy will and walk in thy ways."
The purpose of confession was NOT to make sure that I felt adequately ashamed of whatever it was in my heart or mind. The purpose of the confession was to free me from those things, real or imagined, and transform them into delight. Guilt will make us feel inadequate and unworthy to pursue God's will.
And the answer to guilt is not denial, but forgiveness.
The more mature we are in our faith the more we will realize how much forgiveness we actually need AND the more willing we will be to truly accept it.
Do you delight in God's will? I would venture to say that if we do not have some sense of delight in His will, then we have yet to learn what it means to truly accept His forgiveness. The latter produces the former. Forgiveness produces delight.
The path to delight then, is confession.