The other day, I went to confession for the first time in four months.

It’s been difficult to go to confession since my son has been born. Really, it’s just hard to do anything when I can’t predict how long it will take. Something about waiting in line in the church seems so daunting with my little one.

But Joshua decided that we needed to make it a priority to go. So, I contacted our priest and scheduled private confessions for us on a Saturday morning.

Usually, our priest hears private confession in his office. We’re no strangers to this concept, and it’s never bothered me to bring this sacrament into another space. But that morning was different.

Instead of the priest’s office, we got to make our confessions in the chapel. It was cold and rainy that morning. We hustled from our car to the door with little Peter bundled up. The chapel was empty. Not all the lights were turned on, so it was dim.

It was perfectly peaceful. Perfectly silent.

After I confessed my sins, I took Peter for Joshua. Peter wasn’t interested in sitting in the pew, so I walked around the chapel with him and said my penance out loud. I showed Peter the statues of Mary and Joseph and pointed to Jesus for him.

In total, we were there for less than ten minutes. But it was the most peaceful I have felt in a long time.

It was a peace I didn’t even know I had been missing. I’m very happy in my life. I’m able to take time for myself every week. Joshua and I still prioritize our marriage, even with all the responsibilities of parenthood. We still attend Mass regularly. Even though having a six-month-old is chaotic, I don’t often feel like the house is falling apart or like I’m losing control of the world.

But once I was there, in the chapel, with the real presence of God, enjoying the silence, praying out loud with my son . . . I realized how much I was missing a true sense of peace.

The Catholic definition of peace is the ordering of human nature according to the eternal law of God. I felt peace I didn’t even know I was missing not because I was at church, not because it was quiet, and not because I was cuddling with my baby. All those things I’ve experienced plenty of times.

No, I felt peace because for the first time in a while, my soul was silent. I had just been absolved of all my sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I was at peace because there was no sin stirring in my heart, and I was walking around the chapel surrounded by God and thanking Him for this gift.

My soul felt the peace of silence.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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