After much reflection, we have at my house decided to put up a fence, you know, to keep the right things out and the right things in. And because I live in the cold north, good building practice insists that I dig holes for the posts no less than three feet deep.
Over the first few days however I have noticed an unusual setback. For while it is incumbant on me to dig several of these holes, no one took the time to tell me that if I take too long, I might just find myself digging each hole more than once.
You see, the problem with holes is that they always get filled with the wrong thing. So while I would like to begin pouring the concrete to make the wood sturdy and strong, I actually need to spend more time removing everything and anything that made its way into the wrong place.
Confession does much the same thing you know. Removing the dirt and soot, and garbage from the depths of who we are leaves us with a hole that needs attention. But if we are too slow to fill it with the Scriptures, the Sacraments, with holy friendships that build us up and make us sturdy, then slowly and sometimes far too quickly our previous work re-presents itself.
Remember, the Sacrament of Confession frees you but it doesn’t fill you. It cleans the wound but it doesn’t heal the scar. To do that you will need the Eucharist, you will need deep and meaningful prayer, you will need penance and a whole lot of mercy flowing through you; in short, you will need to establish a practice of life that keeps the wrong things out and the right things in.
The Catholic Church wants to help you to do this. Don’t be a fool. If we are going to dig three feet down into things we never wanted to uncover then we need all the help we can get.