Confession can be like that too. It is true that we only have to confess mortal sins but that doesn’t mean that it is not extremely beneficial to do more than that. We confess the spectacle with great remorse and attention and a hundred little sins scurry under the rug like cockroaches. But it is those little sins that can build on each other making the larger sin possible. We shoot the elephant trying to bring down the house but leave the termites to chew away at the very structure. But because they are smaller, less noticeable or public, we might let them pass, able to pretend they are not there or not that bad compared the that pesky elephant.
Often big sins are a symptom. While trying to rid ourselves of them we also need to look at what allows them into our life. Am I selfish? Do I pray? Am I fulfilling my vocational responsibilities? Am I prideful? And so forth. If not for the confessional, these pesky sins should be part of a nightly examination of conscience.