Sorry for the inconvenience

In between taking the calls, Christian Decena, reflects on saying sorry and the beauty of the  sacrament of confession, which Don Bosco passionately advocated in his lifetime.

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St. John Bosco inspires not just young people but Catholic faithful from all walks of life. As we continue with the novena days in honor of The Saint of Youth, #HappyBirthdayDonBosco team shares with you reflections of various professionals who have been influenced by our beloved Saint. Graphics by Mark Anthony Ramos.

 

This is one of the most dreaded lines I need to say every time I talk to customers. It hurts my machismo to say sorry for something that’s not my fault. Even though the internet modem is working and the customer insists that it doesn’t, we need to empathetically but dejectedly say the line “I’m so sorry, let me fix this problem for you.”

Healing in progress
It was in the fifth grade that I developed the habit of going for a weekly confession. Growing up in a school run by nuns didn’t give me enough chance to practice this. I also remember my older brother going to confession every Sunday whenever we attend Mass as a family.

Growing up in a school run by nuns wherein confession is only available upon invitation, my sudden move to Don Bosco Mandaluyong became a surprise for me because priests are everywhere, and asking them to hear my confession was as easy as 1-2-3. But because I didn’t go to confession regularly, approaching the sacrament was a very nerve wrecking experience. I can’t imagine “shaming” myself in front of a priest; telling him all the stupid things I did that caused bodily or spiritual harm to myself or other people. There was even a time during the fifth grade that I cried inside the confessional box because I was so ashamed. The priest who heard my confession reassured me that God doesn’t sit as a judge whenever I approach the sacrament.

Interestingly, this old priest did really show me the merciful face of a father who picks up his son after falling down. This priest, by the way, has an aura of an old tree: wise, mysterious, and has a thousand stories to tell every time I approach him for the sacrament.

One time, after hearing my confession, he forgot to turn off the lights inside the confessional box. He pointed out to me: “See that light? It doesn’t only mean that there are people inside. It also means that healing is in progress.”

Every time I go out of the confessional or get up from my chair, I always feel unburdened, physically and spiritually. No wonder Don Bosco always reiterated the importance of the sacrament of confession; it uplifts us both in body and spirit.

Working in the BPO industry for two years taught me a lot of things, from troubleshooting TV boxes and internet modems to extending my patience way way longer because an 80-year old grandma is having a hard time finding buttons on her computer keyboard. I may forget how the computer tools work or how to read the monthly bill breakdown, but I do know that saying “sorry” is something that I will never forget. Customers will say “I don’t need your sorry, I need a resolution.” Same goes during confession. God says “I don’t need your sorry, I need your virtues.”

St. John Bosco, pray for us!

Christian Decena works as a technical support representative for an American telecommunications company. He is currently taking classes to become a full time financial advisor.

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