I went to confession this morning. I always approach this sacrament with a little bit of trepidation. I don’t think anyone likes going and telling someone their sins but I do feel so much better afterwards. The best analogy I’ve heard is cleaning out your car. You dread doing it but once you have it feels great and at first you keep the car really clean, but after a while you get lax again and the car becomes more cluttered and dirty until its soon time to clean it out again.
Anyway, when I got to the office and said my morning prayers before starting work, one of the things I was reading was Psalm 133: “How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers live in unity!” I thought this was somewhat fitting because the sacrament of Confession is all about unity and repairing the ruptures in that unity. I’ve also been reading about St. Benedict lately and Benedictine spirituality which involves living in community.
I have a tendency sometimes to want to live out my spiritual life in seclusion. I think that is a temptation for me but that is not what I have been called to. I don’t believe most people are called to that life. Confession is important part of my spiritual life particularly because it calls me to be accountable to someone else and to live out my spiritual life in communion with others, just as the Mass and prayers with my spouse and my children do. Without this communion in the Body of Christ, I am too easily led to believe my own interpretation of what the Holy Spirit is calling me to do. I find it far too easy to live in the dirty car. I succumb to my own rationalizations. I need that lived unity which I find in part in Confession.