Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential. We gain strength through God’s word. We receive grace from the sacrament. And when we fumble due to sin – and it’s gonna happen – confession puts us back on the field. ~ Lou Holtz
So many people in the world view the Sacrament of Reconciliation as something that is wholly unnecessary. They see it as a sign of weakness. After all, they say, we should be able to take care of our problems on our own and there is definitely no need to tell others all about what we have done.
Yet, we all fall at one time or another. As a matter of fact, we fall quite often. When we do fall, it is extremely important that we get back up and try, once again, to do the right thing. We may keep falling — compliments of our human nature — but we must get back up. If we fail to do so, we will end up wallowing in our sin and drift further away from God. That, certainly, is not the ideal.
The soul’s natural inclination is to seek God. It needs to do all that it can to draw closer to God. If it does not, the soul becomes agitated. We find ourselves feeling out of sync with the world around us, and for good reason. When our spiritual lives suffer, we suffer here on earth.
Why is it that the best things to do are often the hardest? The best thing to do is to go to confession. But pride often gets in our way. We are embarrassed to tell someone else of our failings and weaknesses. We fear that the priest, and others, will feel less about us if they knew our sins or knew that we went to the sacrament regularly.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl reminded us that is not so. Confession is for all people, even those we deem saints. The great saints of old actually went to confession much more than anyone else. He said, “Confession is something we will never outgrow, even if we become the saints God made us to be. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta were revered even during their lifetime; but both made frequent use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
One of the things we try to get across to our children is this: “Don’t let what other people think of you decide your actions.” If they think you are weak, a failure, or some kind of slouch because you go to confession, who cares? It is not between you and them. It is between you and God. And that should be what matters most.
FAITH ACTION: Make a good examination of conscience. Most parishes have confessions on Saturdays. Is it time for you to go?