Is your car a mess? Or your office? Or your Inbox? My car is actually pretty clean inside, while the outside is a little salty this winter. But I know lots of folks struggle with keeping a car interior clean, especially if they have children! I remember years ago my nephew being very concerned because he got chocolate all over the seats in my car. I laughed and said, “That is the price of being an uncle, sometimes the chocolate is all over.”
But my office? That is another story! Yikes, stacks of paper, all representing work or marriage prep or annulments or meeting requests or sales pitches and on and on.
And email inboxes? How many people just give up on trying to empty them out? My dad recently asked for help clearing out the 27,000 emails out of his inbox. We just made him a new gmail.com account instead.
Ok… but what possible ‘Jesus connection’ am I thinking? When you clean out your car/office/inbox, you suddenly become much more aware of previously unnoticed threats to re-cluttering your life. A candy wrapper in the car, an unreturned message on the desk, or email spam coming in. The same thing can happen with our souls, especially if we haven’t been to confession in ages. It is such an amazing experience as a priest, to help people to clear out their souls of the debris and clutter of sin. Truly, as a priest, I rank it a privilege second only to transubstantiating bread and wine into Jesus.
Once we clear out the debris that was intimidating us from returning to Jesus, we become much more sensitive to maintaining the spiritual health and cleanliness of our souls. I often tell folks who return from many years away from the sacrament, “Don’t be surprised if you start to remember and recall smaller sins. Just bring them confidently to your next confession. Jesus will always welcome you home.”