Monday, August 22, 2016

The Confession

August 22, 2016

Portentous graffiti inside a confessional booth tucked backstage of the chapel area in the abandoned Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital.
source:  (posted 1 year ago)

     If you're wondering about the above image, I almost went with something staid and conventional: an ornately carved wooden confessional booth, evoking "High Church" Catholicism. I browsed Google and found a few very nice images, but nothing that would convey the pathology, dysfunction, and turmoil of 21st century life. No, what I want is to highlight the raggedness, the wretchedness of our lives below the line of despair. The Northville Regional Psychiatric Hospital is an abandoned building in Detroit MI, opened in 1952 and closed down fifty years later due to the Reagan Administration's universal defunding of mental health services. It is said to be haunted. The photograph you see above was taken in the hospital's chapel area. The red graffiti seems to mock the dereliction of that place as well as the notion of a personal God desiring reconciliation and reunification with His wayward children.

     The Spirit of the Age (secular post-modernity in this case) decrees that we all ought to be our own confessors, and that any confession booth we occupy for said purpose should feature a kinder, wiser version of ourselves on the other side of the lattice. But without the Holy Spirit, who will convict us of our sins? The moral and cultural relativity of our day has replaced the confession booth with a Hollywood-style vanity mirror. It is a mirror whose incandescent bulbs are often dark, its glass cracked or dirty or even opaque with filth as would denote a 21st century society so disinterested in soul-searching. 

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Peter... Sadly, I have to agree with your assessment.

The idea of "sin" is repugnant to so many, and yet it's rampant. But, as Jesus said, he came to seek and to save those who know they need "a Spiritual Doctor". (

As for those who see no such need, sadly, they will inevitably die, not just physically but spiritually, as they will continue on, for all eternity, in the reality of their present condition -- separated from God.

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