I have had a bad 3 weeks and I'm a little scared to go to confession. The way my life is working out, I only have 1 option for confession right now and it's the FSSP oratory /Traditional Catholic Church. I love the FSSP guys, don't get me wrong... but they kind of scare me. I normally go to a more liberal nice old man who kind of is more awkward about my confession than I am and tells me I don't need to remember the number and that I'll grow out of things as I get older and that it's all normal. So basically I have Law or Gospel (to phrase it in a Lutheran way), and as all good Lutherans know, you need a proper combination of Law & Gospel (Justice & Mercy in Catholicism). Thus am I stuck. So I don't know how long I'll hold out before I go to the Oratory and get yelled at and tentatively absolved (hopefully). But maybe I'll get a saturday off soon and I'll be able to return to my liberal confessor.
I've finished St. Ambrose's 1st book on Repentance and found this quote interesting, it kind of shames me with my laxity and complaining:
"If, then, any one, having committed hidden sins, shall nevertheless diligently do penance, how shall he receive those rewards if not restored to the communion of the Church? I am willing, indeed, that the guilty man should hope for pardon, should seek it with tears and groans, should seek it with the aid of the tears of all the people, should implore forgiveness; and if communion be postponed two or three times, that he should believe that his entreaties have not been urgent enough, that he must increase his tears, must come again even in greater trouble, clasp the feet of the faithful with his arms, kiss them, wash them with tears, and not let them go, so that the Lord Jesus may say of him too: His sins which are many are forgiven, for he loved much. (Luke 7:47)
I have known penitents whose countenance was furrowed with tears, their cheeks worn with constant weeping, who offered their body to be trodden under foot by all, who with faces ever pale and worn with fasting bore about in a yet living body the likeness of death." - St. Ambrose of Milan "On Repentance" Book 1, Chapter 16, 90-91
Granted these were the days before the penitential system / confession was around, so things were different, but it's interesting to look at.