We made an inevitable trip to the dump after our spring-cleaning blitz at home this spring. At the time, I had no idea that it would have some spiritual relevance a few days later, but that is how creatively God can work in our hearts and minds. The most mundane experiences can be transformative into deeper and meaningful insights. That is the joy of being a human being and open to the gifts that God can bring into the humdrum life that is the majority of our day-to-day living. In this case, God was blessing me with an insight through my own child who is seemingly much more prone to finding the sacred in the ordinary than me.
Our son had come to the dump with us that day and had not mentioned any reaction in particular at the time. That same Saturday evening, we participated in the sacrament of reconciliation and then went to mass. Upon returning to our seat after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, my son looked up at me and said, “Jesus must be so happy going into our body and soul tonight because we just went to confession and there is no dirt or junk in us tonight. It’s like we don’t want to deliver Jesus to the dump if we still have all that sin inside of us. We cleaned our soul out and its ready for him now!”
Wow – what a powerful visual that I had never quite considered before. How many times have I received Jesus in the Eucharist and had less than a clean place for him? Are we working to create a space worthy for Jesus to enter? This was an excellent reminder about the importance of regularly participating in the sacrament of reconciliation as we also regularly receive communion.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our eccelisial life (paragraph 1324). Paragraph 1326 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church goes on to explain that, "...by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all." With these two key concepts in mind, we can be reminded the importance of the state of our souls/conscience as we go up to receive the Body of Christ when we attend mass. The formation of our conscience can be important part of our growth and development as a faithful Catholic person. The sacrament of reconciliation (sometimes called 'confession') is called the sacrament of conversion (CCC para 1423). We are called to conversion, to reconciliation with God and then ultimately with each other. The graces are compounded. We hear the instruction from Jesus in Luke 15:18 to "Go; first be reconciled to your brother."
The richness, depth and beauty found with in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Sacred Scriptures are there to remind us of these truths. Yet, at the same time, God can reveal simple truths to some, including my own child, to bring us back to important understandings as well. God can use a simple trip to the dump after a clean up to work as an impetus to further reflection upon the great gifts we can access in our lives to come closer to Him. Ironically, everytime I pass a dump, I am reminded of this experience and can not help but smile.
Do you think there is any spring-cleaning you feel called to do internally? Can you use the sacrament of reconciliation as a way to help you do this?