Friday, June 4, 2010

Applying 'The Fun Theory' To Confession ... Sort Of

Here's an interesting and entertaining video, the result of a campaign called "The Fun Theory" run by the European car maker, Volkswagen.   The "Fun Theory" campaign's ruling principle is that fun can change behavior for the better.  Choosing the busy Odenplan train station in Stockholm, the "Fun Theorists" wanted to see if everyday commuters would give up using the escalator to exit the train station, and choose the stairs instead.  The "Fun Theorists" turned the stairs into an over-sized yet fully operational keyboard.  The video below shows the before, during, and after effects of their campaign.

Couldn't the "Fun Theory" be applied to the experience of Catholics going to Confession? Come to Confession! And when you leave the Confessional, go to your church's lobby, vestibule, foyer, etc., where you can dance toward the exit to your choice of "The Hallelujah Chorus" or "Walking On Sunshine" or another melody!  
Hey, we could have a Shuffleboard Game set up in the vestibule, where the absolved person can use a paddle to push weighted pucks with the names of the Seven Deadly Sins on them, sending them gliding down a long, narrow chute into a So Long Sin Bin, setting off flashing lights and bells!
[At this point, a note to Father "Z": Don't panic! I'm only jesting!]
Yes, the entire scenario detailed above is a jest and a gimmick to bring your attention to the following project and task:
We, Priests and Laity, should be frequently availing ourselves of the Sacrament that heals our selfishness, sets our intentions right, and removes the blockade of sin which keeps Our Lord and our neighbors alienated from us. 
And, in addition, we all should be encouraging others, especially Lapsed Catholics, to consider all the positives and graces inherent with the Sacrament Of Reconciliation -- telling them about our own positive and uplifting experiences of -- as it were -- shuffling our sins into the "So Long Sin Bin."  No need to tell them what you Confessed; just tell them how good you felt after it, and how Our Lord gave you the strength to make changes for the holier in yourself,  your activities, and your relationships.
On May 27th, our beloved Pope Benedict told the Italian Bishops Conference that the scandal of clerical abuse of minors "must inspire bishops and priests to rediscover the need for penitence, purification, forgiveness and justice.  The humble and painful admission of the sins of some of the church's members should not obscure the good and saintliness of so many others, including lay faithful and priests."  
God knows, and I freely admit, that I could not live without regularly Confessing my sins during the Sacrament Of Reconciliation -- can't even imagine how my life would be if I consistently avoided the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Back on May 11th, during the plane trip on his way to the shrine of Fatima in Portugal, Pope Benedict met with reporters.  (Fatima is where Our Blessed Mother appeared to three young shepherd children in 1917.)  Pope Benedict spoke about the Blessed Mother's message at Fatima being one of prayer, penance, and conversion.  Among the statements he made, Pope Benedict said that the worst attacks against the Catholic Church don’t come from outside. “We see it today in a terrifying way,” that the “greatest persecution of the Church doesn’t come from the enemies outside, but is born from sin inside the Church.”  The Church has a deep need to learn to do penance, accept purification, and to learn to ask forgiveness.
As Pope Benedict struggles to help the Lord to purify His Church, will you and I be doing our part?
Are you going to Confession?  Regularly? 
Are you telling others about your personal
need for penitence, purification, forgiveness and conversion? 
Are you telling others about experiencing mercy, forgiveness, and renewal from frequently presenting yourself at Confession and doing acts of penance and devotion?
You and I must communicate the positive meaning of Confession bringing us closer to God, rather than God punishing us for our bad behavior. 
The "Fun Theory's" ruling principle is that fun can change our behavior for the better. 
The Roman Catholic Church's ruling principle is that faith in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ can change our behavior for the better, for the holier, forever. 
We don't need the useless fun of musical stairs or shuffleboard to attract each other to Confession to purify and improve our lives. 
We do need to emphasize our faith that Confession is really a positive, not a negative; that the Lord doesn't want us to walk around with guilt and regret oppressing us and darkening our lives and others' lives because of us. 
If you and I keep going regularly to this beautiful Sacrament and keep speaking positively about our blessings from the Sacrament of Penance -- expressing our joy and gratitude for having the burden of sin lifted off us -- then Parishes big and small will have lines for Confession which stretch out their doors and around the block: every Saturday!  Really!
Aah, what sweet music that would be -- without installing expensive keyboard stairs!
Oh -- for those who say that they do not need to go to Confession in the Sacrament Of Penance/Reconciliation, here is my usual pithy comment:

Unless the Blessed Mother has a statue of YOU on her bedroom dresser, YOU need to go to Confession!
Shall we get to work?
(Uh... ahem... you, in the back! Please stop dancing and put down the shuffleboard paddle, would ya?)

The Assistant Headmaster

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.