Every so often, I run into something in life that totally confounds me. It can be a little fashion issue – like socks with sandals or jean shorts. Other times I’m flabbergasted by our lack of common sense… why does the stewardess need to teach me how to use a seat belt everytime I get on a plane? How does she think I got to the airport – horse and buggy?
But one of the things that makes the least sense to me is how timid most Catholics are about Reconciliation. Yes, I know it’s an elephant in the Cathedral – who doesn’t get skittish talking about their own sinfulness? I’m amazed, though, how many faithful Mass-going Catholics I run into that go to Confession once or twice a year! Really? Maybe it’s just that I sin a lot more than everyone else, but I couldn’t stay away from the Sacrament that long.
We tend to think of Confession as emergency surgery; it’s something we turn to when we’ve made a big mistake and need to be fixed up. But Confession is a lot more like taking your vitamins – something that’s done on a regular basis. Even if you aren’t neck-deep in mortal sin, Confession is still valuable because of the grace it gives. You aren’t simply having your sins forgiven when you step into that box… you’re receiving grace upon grace to avoid sin in the future. In the same way that habitually receiving the Eucharist transforms us to be like Christ, going to confess our sins actually moves us in the direction of holiness.
Take a second to think about what the Sacrament of Confession is: Jesus is sitting next to you, hearing you pour out the ways you’ve sinned, and then forgiving each of them. He erases them into non-existence. And it’s free… the only price is paid in the humility to admit our mistakes.
If you haven’t been this month, this semester, or this year – get to Confession. Look up a time this Saturday. Your parish might even have weekday opportunities. Or pick up the phone and make an appointment – don’t be scared. We could all use a little more time in the box.
See you in Christ