We can think that we initiate love, especially in situations where there appears to be no love. But “God is Love” [1 John 4:8] and, as such, God is the source of all love. Though we are not in the initiator of love, this reality does not lessen God’s commands for us to love, both God and neighbor. It just shows us that our love is a reciprocation, or reflection, of God’s love. It all starts from God.
If our love is a reflection of God’s love, then our duty in love is to keep the love going. We fail in our duty when we keep love from God or others. Just like a mirror must be clean and free from obstructions in order to do its duty, we are to keep our souls clean and free from obstructions in order to reflect God’s love. When we sin, we are distorting our reflection of God’s love or worse, we are putting up obstructions to God’s love.
If we do sin and allow our reflection of God’s love to be hindered, we must be made clean to reflect God’s love better. In order to clean a mirror, you must get a cleaner and wipe it properly so as to not leave any streaks. So too must we do with our souls. Only this cleaning takes a much greater power, God. God can clean our souls if we go to Him. And how do we do this? By showing Him our sins, the smudges and obstructions on our soul, and allowing Him to wipe our soul clean. And God gave us Confession for this very purpose. Not that He wants to shame us by telling a priest, but because He wants to use the priest to show us that we are not rejected. We are accepted, loved, and set free of our smudges and obstructions.
God is the great source of love and we can be great reflections of God’s love in this world, if only we choose to keep from smudges and obstructions on our soul. And God is there to clean us up if we dirty our souls, not so that we can see our littleness, but that we can see and reflect God’s great love.
God, You gave us a great gift in Confession to make our souls clean again, help us to reflect God’s love to You and others and clean us in Confession when we let sin hinder our reflection of Your love.