If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
~ 1 John 1:9, NAB
I sin. I sin every day. Sometimes my sins are small and really don’t hurt anyone, but they are sins nonetheless. Then I have days when I bust out the industrial sized sin and just feel like a complete putz afterwards. By the way, yes, putz is the technical term for feeling like the biggest jackass in the world when I know I sinned.
So needless to say, today’s bible verse brings me comfort…daily. As one of my favorite Catholic radio hosts Lino Rulli says, “I “love” going to confession.” I joke, but I’m actually quite serious. I do like going to confession. Now that I understand the value of the sacrament that God has given to me of reconciliation, I do like going there.
I’m still a sinner—a sinner who has been making a habit of going to confession as of late. In the past month I have gone to confession three times (one of the times the priest ran out of time and couldn’t listen to my confession, apparently there’s a lot of us sinners out there). And, I’ll be going again this Friday to reconciliation mass.
Now understand this, I get that there is a difference between small sins and big sins. My understanding of “big” sins are ones that separate me from fellowship with the Lord—sins that cause me to fall and fracture my witness of the Lord. In other words, if Jesus were literally hanging out with me it would cause him to shake his head in utter disgust. The little sins? He’d give me that parent “hey that’s not appropriate” look. But the “big” ones, they make me sad too.
Yet, even though I sin Jesus is there to pick me back up. When I go to confession I tell the priest everything—thanks to an iPhone app which really helps me remember things I had forgotten. But the point is I tell him everything; get it off my chest. I acknowledge my sins before God and he forgives me…and cleanses me. That is the best part of confession, the feeling of cleanliness and holiness afterwards. It’s my moment where I am pure in God’s eyes and he’s most proud of me.
This Friday’s reconciliation service will probably not be the last time I go to confession. That’s for certain. But if I continue to aim for holiness and acknowledge my sins when I fail, God will faithfully forgive me and the blood of Christ will make me white as snow. What a wonderful feeling, what a wonderful God.