The Transforming Power of Confession (Part 2)

Photo by Flickr user a colori

In my last blog I spoke about the anticipation of our daughter’s 1st Confession. She will receive her sacrament today. I made the connection that Reconciliation is about love: loving God, loving our neighbor, and loving ourselves.

In order to love our neighbor and God, we must have a healthy love for ourselves. As a parent watching our daughter’s preparation, I can see the mysterious way how, through Confession, God speaks very directly and personally to each one of us.

Gianna is the kid that, until a few minor things recently, doesn’t give you any trouble. She is bright. She is very aware of right and wrong and wants to do things the right way. She wants others to do things the right way, too! She is kind to others and has a very generous heart.

We did start to see a few things slide recently. She broke her perfect “no mark off” record by being sloppy with some homework papers. A few ugly comments have slipped out here and there, along with a few behind-the-parents’-back messing with her little brother incidents. Then there was the sneaky / defiant / passive-aggressive disobedience that on rare occasions started to pop up. The worst was when she recently forged my signature to indicate we had completed her Reconciliation prayer service, when we didn’t.

First, it was all a reminder of how much we all need the sacrament of Reconciliation, even our almost perfect Gianna. We’re all in this together with the effects of Original Sin.

Second, I saw how healing regular Confession will be for Gianna. Because Gianna is such a perfectionist, it is very hard for her to admit when she is wrong. She also has a hard time apologizing. It has been difficult getting her to recite certain prayers, because she only wants to do it if she can do it without any errors or not at all.

I can see the healing Gianna will experience with regular Confession. She will get practice identifying and taking ownership for her sins. In a gentle way she will begin to see the damage sin causes herself and others. She will grow in humility with the acknowledgement that she needs God each time she enters the Confessional. She will experience the truth that God always forgives us and opens His arms to embrace us when we come to Him. She will experience God’s unconditional love and acceptance.

Those aren’t bad benefits for a forty-five minute or so investment of time every two weeks.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: If you are not going to Confession every two weeks, list the top five obstacles and put plans in place to overcome them.