Hmm, confession and car...they both start with C! Today I had the opportunity to go to confession (thanks, Padre!) after a few weeks. Very much needed. I reflected on the drive home that confession is very similar to cleaning out my car. Those of you who have seen my car may notice all sorts of things in the seats: leftover sesame seeds from a bagel, Latin papers to grade, random books & clothing, and Irish dance shoes. I don't MEAN to let the car get so messy, but it just happens. After a long day of teaching or a late-night dance practice, the last thing I feel like doing is hauling my junk back into the house. As a result, what began as a pristine, clean interior turns into "Kristy's 2nd home on wheels." I don't like that appearance, nor do I plan for it, contrary to popular belief.
Essentially, our souls are like my messy car. We have to constantly be on guard against a materialistic, sinful culture. Add to that the normal problems we humans have with relating with each other...it's so easy. And it's more easy to just leave the junk in the car, or the sins on our soul. But when things get really messy, a car wash and interior cleaning is in order. For Catholics and Orthodox, this cleaning comes through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, popularly known as confession.
Confession is often criticized, feared, avoided, and even deprecated. But the sacrament is psychologically and spiritually healing. To hear those words, "I absolve you of your sins..." gives the heart and soul concrete proof that the sins have been forgiven. Not to mention that if you're trying to maintain a clean soul/car, frequent confession/cleaning keeps the junk away. Little junk that piles up is similar to venial sins; huge, enormous junk that even blocks the rear view mirror is like mortal sins. (see CCC 1855 for more info)
So if you haven't been to confession this Lent, make the time to go. Your soul will receive a much needed cleaning and peace. Perhaps the sacrament will inspire you to clean out a messy car or van, as it did for me today!! :)