Thursday, June 30, 2011


When you are witness to a spectacle it’s easier to have your pocket picked. So much of our focus is on the fireworks or the band or what have you that it makes it easier for the thief to slip his hand into your pocket and take your pocket watch.

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.


Cracked Pot said...

Excellent, Father, for those of us tempted to say, "Well, I haven't killed anybody [yet], so I'm not that bad."

Anonymous said...

Good post Father, thank you. Its been 11 years since I went to confession. I need it, time for a new start I think.

Help My Unbelief said...

What does it take to be reconciled to God- termites, pesky elephants, and all?

Anonymous said...

Pleae pass this along to the Parish School, where they down play confession to the point where none of the children think they need to go unless they've murdered someone. Whatever happened to school children going to weekly confession to get into the habit of at least going monthly, which is now the frequency of their parent's Sunday obiligation. And, unfortunatley will be their children's frequency of thinking about "possibly" going to Mass. They all (the children) disappear after confirmation because no one, especially at the "Catholic" school their parents paid for ever took the faith seriously enough to make them take it seriously enough. I know it's not the parish's fault, they have to do what the Bishop's office tells them to do. I could blame the parent's but they are typically just the victims of a previous generation of poor teaching.