Tonite my girlie goes to her first confession. We have talked about this on and off over the last couple of months, with another last minute cram session this afternoon.
She is 3 weeks from being 8 years old. Let us be honest, confession and reconciliation are just not things the average 8 year old can really grasp. It is something that truly grows with you. I did emphasize to her that she isn't to think that just because her dad and I are grown that we have an easier time being good. I told her that it is when you are grown up that sinning becomes the most easy to do and the most difficult to stop. She was surprised by this. I think kids sometimes tend to think that because they are little and don't know the rights and wrongs of everything or the nuances of various situations that they are worse than grown ups. I told her, she is much closer to Christ and His love as the little girl she is, and the more she can hold on to her simple child-like faith the better.
I reality, her sins are so simple. Of course, like anyone's, they are born of selfishness. But a kids' selfishness is tame compared to ours as adults. I wish my sins were ONLY that I stuck my tongue out at my brother because he wouldn't let me on the computer, even when it was my turn. Instead, mine involve making decisions on how to raise my children, how to treat them, my husband, my friends, those who have hurt me.
I told Autumn that the simplest way to understand sin is that it is an action against real, true love. That is the love that God gives and want us to express as well. How I fall short of showing real, true love. Autumn is much more above board and loving than I am. That is why Jesus said to have the faith of a child. The faith of a child is like a beautiful green lawn and a child's sins are like brand new young weeds fresh from the ground. Their roots are not buried under layers of dark dirt. They are barely under the surface. They are easily picked and discarded barely hurting the lawn. Most adults, however, have weeds in their lawn that are like that of Nutsedge (sp) deep, tangled and hard to get rid of. And when you have managed to uproot them, how painful it is to the lawn, not to mention the deep holes that are left until new grass grows over them. How I love that Confession helps me to continue to pull out those horrible weeds of sin, in my ever growing lawn of faith. And it is not as easy to grapple with those sins, even with God's help, as much as it is for a little kid. It is also a lot more painful to let go of sinful habits, more than for a little kid. They have had much less time to develop them.
The wonderful thing, and this is coming from a convert who used to mock confession and never really understand it, is that since being able to avail myself of the wonderful Grace-giving Sacrament of Confession (or Reconciliation), I have finally been able to rid myself of sins that bugged the heck out of me as a Protestant, but could never seem to kick. And I didn't rid myself of those sins, God's grace and my cooperation with it, are what did. There is real accountability in this Sacrament...there is no hiding yourself when you bare your soul to the one standing In Persona Christi. You hear the things you do and say come out of your mouth and KNOW there is not one righteous, no not one...only Christ is. Hearing your sins aloud makes you even more aware that YOU DO NEED THE FORGIVENESS OF CHRIST because you hear how unloving you truly are. And the best part comes, the part I could only imagine, but never heard, while I was still an Evangelical, and that is this, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I absolve you of your sins. Go and sin no more." HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?! No more wondering if you meant it, if He really did forgive you. You walk out of that confessional on air feeling the Grace and Peace of Christ coursing through your veins. You KNOW that with God's continued help and grace He will help you overcome sins and continue to make you Holy on your life's walk with Christ.
Well, I have to go get Autumn. It is time to go. I am so excited for her. After tonite, the next stop is the pinnacle of Sacraments: the Eucharist...Christ Himself condescending into bread and wine to make it His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Remember from John 6: "I am the bread of Life, whoevers eats this bread will never die." How loved we are. Just mindblowing!
4 years ago