A Catholic reads the Bible, Week 47: A confession about confessing

This week, Laura Bernardini is reading Paul's letters to fellow Christians.

This is Week 47 of a yearlong series: A Catholic Reads the Bible. Read Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3. Laura Bernardini is director of coverage in CNN's Washington Bureau. The views expressed in this column belong to Bernardini.

(CNN)When I left the Bible's Book of Acts and began to read Paul's letters, I thought of my love of sending a note with pen and paper.

I come from a long line of letter writers. My grandmother, who returned to Italy only once after immigrating to the United States, wrote letters to her family in the old country, because calling frequently was just too expensive. While my grandparents were separated while courting, they stayed in touch by writing what my grandmother lovingly called "weather reports." My grandfather would write about the weather for approximately three sentences because he wasn't a man of many words, but he always wrote.
Romans doesn't really remind me of those kinds of letters. The letters are much more of a historical document chronicling Paul's road to Rome. It is believed that the letters were written before the four Gospels.
    Paul has a long list for the new followers about what not to do: no idol worship, no bigamy, no homosexuality. And what to do: be good, believe in Christ, do good works. And of course, there is a lot of redundancy and history thrown into this book.
    I started to wonder about whether I will find something that will strike me, when, as before in this 47-week journey, it magically happened.
    In one of the letters, we are taken way back to Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch.
    "Blessed are those whose inequities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is that man whose sin the Lord doesn't record." (Romans 4:7-8)
    Paul's words got me thinking. What does this mean?
    It leads me to my thoughts on the sacrament of Reconciliation. It's time for a confession about Confession. I haven't been a big believer in going to Confession, the Catholic rite of Reconciliation. Going to Catholic school, it was part of a quarterly ritual, like getting a report card about your soul.
    I used to tell my mother that I didn't have to go because I was only confessing my sins and asking for absolution from a human, someone like me. Yes, I know: a priest isn't like me. But, you get the idea of my childhood rebellion.
    Instead, I used to write everything down in my journal to work it out in my head, like a letter to myself.
    I have mentioned before that I might not pick up the Bible and read it daily once this project is completed. But it has taught me that the Bible is a foundation that leads me to think about all the different facets of my faith.
    Over the weekend, I was asked what my favorite book was so far. I picked Numbers because it challenged me to get through something so dense and so obtuse. It was outside my comfort zone and expectations. I think that I might be shifting to Romans, because it really has me thinking.