Amy and I decided to go to confession before mass at Maria Stein Center on Saturday. Mass is at 11:30, and the celebrating priest normally starts hearing confessions at 11:00. The last time we went, there were only two people in line at 11:00, so we figured that if we got there by 10:55, we should be fine.
When we arrived, we found the line for confessions was pouring out of the waiting room and into the hallway. Amy asked me if I wanted to get in line, and I said no, there are too many penitents to get through before mass. So we took are seat and joined in saying the rosary before mass. At about 11:15, Amy looked back and said to me, "The line's about half down, do you want to go get in line?" I glanced back and saw that the line now ended at the doorway to the waiting room. I shook my head no; there were still too many to get through before mass.
Now that I think about, she seemed awfully anxious to get me into that confessional line. I wonder why?
About 11:25, a bunch of people started taking seats in the chapel. "Must be all the people who didn't get through line," I thought to myself. Mass started, as normal, at 11:30. After mass, the celebrant said that, since he was retired and didn't have anywhere that he needed to be, he would hear the confessions of those who didn't get to go before mass. "I think there were five," he added.
By the time Amy and I got in line, there were at least 15 of us. I know that sin doesn't just happen before or during Advent and Lent, but I am grateful that at least people become more aware of their need to reconcile with God during these seasons of preparation.