Forgive Me

In less than a week, Huck will receive the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. 

We've got a {a kinder and gentler than the one I learned in second grade} version of the Act of Contrition posted on the laundry room door for him to practice each night; his teacher has requested that all the kids in his class learn it by heart but we aren't being as diligent as we should be.  I figure if I still need a cheat sheet at the age of 37, it's no big deal.

Huck - like every 7 year old I know -  is a fairly clean slate; his examination of conscience will mostly deal with those times when he didn't obey us or his teachers, the usual sibling squabbles, and maybe a modest white lie or two.  Small potatoes for the confessional, I know, but First Reconciliation for us cradle Catholics is less about sin and more about beginning the journey toward forgiveness and grace.

Reconciliation gets harder as you get older; I know this from personal experience.  I had a stretch of about ten years during which I didn't set foot in a confessional.  When I finally did muster up the courage to go back, it was very hard and tear-filled and ultimately redeeming.

Even now, stepping through the curtain, kneeling, and waiting for the screen to open still humbles me.  Confession is good for the soul, yes, but like many things that are good for us like exercise or eating right or good parenting, it's not always easy.  Heck, it's not ever easy.

But those two words forgive me, that simple start with it's promise of grace and love and acceptance?

Those words and all that they herald are always worth it.