It’s true, in general our sins are always the same, but we clean our house, our room, at least every week, although the dirt is always the same.
Confession is necessary only in the case of grave sin. But it is very useful to go to confession regularly to cultivate cleanliness and beauty of soul, and to mature little by little in life.Pope Benedict XVIh/t to Julie at Happy Catholic
Today is a big day in the Coffeehouse. Little Man is making his first confession tonight. Or, to put it officially: tonight he receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Now, this is sometimes one of those divisive issues: that whole “Why bother with going to confession?” question. Well, to that and to start an answer, I offer this perspective:
I’ve written about how much I have grown to love confession, here. I didn’t use to love it. And honestly, for a time in my life, I didn’t fool with it much. That was sheer guilty fear, that. Go read this post, you’ll see why I left it aside for a good while and how I came back to it. But again, the issue is with the need to go to and confess, to a real life sitting and maybe judging person. Yikes! Why bother? I mean, you can pray and ask for forgiveness for your sins to Christ alone, inside your own heart, right?
Well, yes. But, the healing that comes from the actual grace of that sacrament is, simply put, electric. Sometimes electric complete with the lit up ZING of it all. Sometimes electric in the quieter sense of a warm light coming back on to chase away the dark.
But the actual, real, truth of this sacrament is that it’s another quietly radical event in our jaded world, playing out in the quiet corners of our churches and hearts. It’s radical and true, it’s biblical: John 20:21-23. Go see, I’ll wait. This sacrament, the absolution received, gives us real strength and Grace to go out and try to do better. What’s not to love about that? Who doesn’t need or want that?? I don’t know.
Some might think a second grader is too young for such a hefty sacrament, such a possibly scary sacrament. He’s seven, almost eight. But I disagree. My son, my little man, he is old enough now to know the difference between right and wrong, between his selfish acts and his charitable ones. He’s old enough to say he messed up, aloud, and to bow his head and say, “I’m sorry. Forgive me.” He’s old enough to repair relationships that have been dinged. And he’s old enough to understand how to stand up and step out and try again with new resolve. Even if, especially at his age, it’s little things. Even those little things, they make a difference. They can chip away at relationships and our sense of self. And trying to do the right thing, even in the little moments…? Well, that’s how you can change the world.
And that, that knowledge of the power or reconciliation, of forgiveness, of faithfulness and repair…that’s a mighty strength. An awesome gift. Please keep my little guy in your prayers today, I’m proud of him and grateful for this boy and this gift of grace.