Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Confession: Sunday Scribbling

This week's prompt at Sunday Scribblings is "Confession". To anyone brought up Catholic, it's likely that the first image to arise will be the memory of the confession-box, the first confession, the ritual cleansing of the soul before the first communion. Does she look like her soul needed to be cleansed?
I didn't mind going to confession. The biggest problem was figuring out what on earth to offer up as "sins". Bless me, Father, for I have sinned... I was cheeky to my parents, I told a lie....
As I became disillusioned with the church, my attendance at confession dwindled, dwindled, and then, in my teens, when I decided to become a Baha'i, it really interested me to find that the founder of the Baha'i Faith had forbidden such forms of confession.
"Bahá'u'lláh prohibits confession to, and seeking absolution of one's sins from, a human being, and enjoins the sinner, when alone, to repent before God, for it is He Who forgives."

That doesn't mean that we never admit to having done something wrong! If I have an apology to make, then of course I should make it, or if it seems important to acknowledge a mistake I've made to someone else, then again, yes, I should make that "confession", but as to forgiveness, that is for God, and I really don't believe anyone's been given the power to offer that forgiveness on His behalf.

I've been reading a really interesting book about shame and guilt by Brené Brown, "I Thought it was Just Me", and reading that, it becomes clearer than ever to me that instilling shame or guilt in children (or anyone!) for being "bad" doesn't serve anyone. [There's a read-along underway at her blog, with the most inspiring podcasts and posts... go check it out!]

Another line from the Baha'i Writings says: "...such confession before people results in one's humiliation and abasement, and God -- exalted be His glory -- wisheth not the humiliation of His servant." Having come from a religion where little children were made to feel guilty for the most ordinary and human of things; where women were taken off to be "churched" after childbirth before they were seen as clean enough for ordinary society again, this was a revelation indeed.

So my confession today... I'm not a fan of confession!

I've no idea what the other Sunday Scribblers have confessed today, so I'm heading over now to find out... Join me?

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At 2/5/09 8:27 pm, Blogger Granny Smith said...

This is most enlightening about the B'hai faith. If I were to go to any church, it would be that one - or Friends Meeting. I think wqe are all aware, through our reading, of Catholic confession and the sense of guilt it gives young children.

This is an excellent post!

At 2/5/09 11:42 pm, Blogger Tumblewords: said...

I so agree with you. Confession has always seemed ridiculous to me - probably the reason I'm not religious - spirituality has much more meaning...And that's my 'fess up for this day! I enjoyed reading your post ~

At 3/5/09 4:15 am, Blogger Lady North said...

Indeed, making amends should never be part and parcel of abasement or humiliation. I wanted to tell you how much your comment on my most recent blog meant to me: that was very precious of you to say that about 'the Cali'. Many Blessings flow your way for your kindness.

At 3/5/09 4:15 am, Blogger Beek said...

I agree that confession seems pointless. I also think it seems that you should be older when you start confession, and even then it isn't any easier to know what to confess.

At 3/5/09 10:18 am, Blogger Americanising Desi said...

confession could be a way to know yourself better :)

not everything is religiously inclined :)
Happy Sunday!

At 3/5/09 2:56 pm, Blogger Lila Rostenberg said...

Thank-you for sharing this! I know many of us feel the same way about confession. It should be optional.
I love the old photo you used with this post!

At 3/5/09 2:59 pm, Blogger anno said...

I greatly appreciated this B'hai take on confession, with the emphasis on seeking forgiveness and making things right.

Welcome back, Imelda - it's good to see you posting again!

At 3/5/09 11:07 pm, Blogger daringtowrite said...

I confess that I almost forgot about Sunday Scribbling. Thanks for getting me back in the game.

At 3/5/09 11:27 pm, Blogger Judy Merrill-Smith said...

I'm ex-Catholic, too, and probably did confession less than 5 times in my life. It just seemed very creepy. Happy Sunday!

At 4/5/09 10:57 pm, Anonymous floreta said...

great minds think alike!! this is exactly what i wrote about for the prompt, in poem form. :)

i wholeheartedly agree that shaming kids for being "bad" does not serve them! there must be a better way.. in a way, i spent my whole life trying to figure that out because i knew catholicism was NOT for me..

At 9/5/09 1:41 am, Blogger Amber said...

ALWAYS so interesting to read about ones faith. Thank you.

and you sure looked cute, anyway! nope. I don't see a sin on ya. ;)


At 20/5/09 2:08 am, Anonymous colleen said...

I love it. I remember feeling like a princess bride and I loved all the attention, but like you and most every other kid, we were not bad and had to make up sins to report. And if we were bad we wouldn't have remembered by Sunday.

Here's mine (not as good quality) but still sweet (scroll)


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