US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Day 11: M. Scott Peck

We think of confession as an act that should be carried out in secret. Yet the reality is that every human being is broken and vulnerable.

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M. Scott Peck: Communal confession
Community requires the confession of brokenness. But how remarkable it is that in our culture brokenness must be “confessed.” We think of confession as an act that should be carried out in secret, in the darkness of the confessional, with the guarantee of professional priestly or psychiatric confidentiality. Yet the reality is that every human being is broken and vulnerable.

How strange that we should ordinarily feel compelled to hide our wounds when we are all wounded! Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures. It also requires the ability to be affected by the wounds of others. But even more important is the love that arises among us when we share, both ways, our woundedness. (The Different Drum, Touchstone)

Reflection Questions

1. What does the sacrament of confession mean to you?

2. Do you feel compelled to share your vulnerabilities with others—whether your family, friends, or community?

3. How does knowing others’ weaknesses move you? Does it inspire you to share your own?

4. What does today’s reading have to do with Lent and your own journey of self-reflection?

Peck is a psychiatrist and the author of The Road Less Travelled (Simon and Schuster).