This Lent, my middle child received her first Reconciliation. The parish extends the sacrament to parents and any other parishioner attending the service as well. I make it a point to go to regular confession, but after thoroughly examining my conscience I realized there was a "biggie" that I forgot about and never confessed. I immediately panicked. Should I take advantage of this? Should I even confess it? It was so long ago. But in the end I knew: since the sin was now in the front of my mind, it would have to be confessed. Why? Because it was never confessed before.

I suddenly felt the anxiety some of the children were likely feeling. When Father was talking to them, I felt God was using his words to speak to me as well. He reminded us that there aren’t many sins they haven’t heard before. It’s better to confess them and feel the peace of God’s forgiveness. So I got in line and waited. When it came time to confess my sins, I took a deep breath and let it all out.

Then something amazing happened. As the words left my mouth my soul felt like a large stone wall had exploded. Father gave me absolution for my sin and I felt free. I was sure my soul was so lightened that I could have easily floated away. I often don’t get emotional after confession, but this time I did. It was worth it to humble myself in order to gain absolution.

This Lent, make it a point to go to confession. Go even if you go every month.  And go especially if you haven’t gone in years. Take advantage of this grace God has waiting for you. It’s His gift custom designed just for you. The minute the words leave your mouth you will feel much better.  When your priests urge you to take time out to go to confession more, listen to them. They are leading you to a deeper spiritual life. Why not start now – in this season of Lent? It is the perfect opportunity – we just have to grab it.

Copyright 2010 Jennifer Gladen