You might be asking yourself, what does laundry day have to do with the soul and the sacrament of confession? Well, confession is a chance we get to wash the dirt off of our soul. We are restored and neatly pressed in order to make room to receive Him honorably in the Eucharist; which is the Source and Summit of our Faith.
Laundry day is a serious day! For some might be fun, but for the most part, it’s a daunting task. Some may avoid it for months, others may get to it in a week’s time, no matter your personal style, it has to get done! or else______, get the picture?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that,
“Whoever confesses his sins… is already working with God. God indicts your sins if you also indict them, you are joined with God. Man and sinner are, so to speak, two realities: when you hear “man” – this is what God has made; when you hear “sinner” – this is what man himself has made. Destroy what you have made, so that God may save what he has made… The beginning of good works is the confession of evil works. You do the truth and come to the light”.(CCC 1458 St. Augustine Tractates on the Gospel of John 12,13)
This is an exhortation filled with mercy and hope to work proactively on our sinful tendency, which is rooted in original sin. In the sacrament of confession, God gives us the merciful opportunity to start again with His grace. In the act of desiring to cleanse our soul, repenting from our shortcomings and recognizing that we need Him to become more like Him; He delights. Confessing our sins with a contrite heart gets us back in sync with Him, it keeps us in his plan of salvation.
Sorting out our sins
“The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God…”(CCC 1454)
In order to prepare our hearts to receive the sacrament, we must do an examination of conscience and sort out our sins. Picture yourself sorting your Colors and Whites. It takes courage, honesty, and help from the Holy Spirit to bring into the light the ways in which we have missed the mark and classify them into mortal and venial sins.
Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.(CCC 1857)
Venial sin is a less serious matter…but without full knowledge or without complete consent.(CCC 1862)
Humility & Courage – Active Washing cycle
After sorting out your sins, in the confessional, you salute your confessor with a “forgive me, father, for I have sinned”… if you are like me, you are kneeling in front of a screen and your eyes are closed because it is painful to admit that you are not perfect and that… the struggle is real! You do it anyway because the reward is far greater than the shame to be bore!
Forgiveness & Reconciliation – Drying cycle
As we receive the absolution, God’s pardon is granted; and you are brought back to life, reconciled and embraced warmly by the Risen Lord. Just like the prodigal son returning to His Father.(Luke 15, 11-32)
Renewed and all dried up we are ready to commit ourselves to the reparation of our sin, whether it is to ask others for forgiveness or exchange a fault with a good deed.
“…It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear”.(CCC 1460)
“In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”–Saint Augustine