Your friendly last-minute Advent reminder!

Somehow, even though Advent is as long as it can possibly be this year, I didn’t make it to confession. I don’t absolutely have to go, having (thanks be to God) no mortal sins on my soul. But it’s such a basic way to prepare for Christmas. I’ve said it myself several times: If I manage to have an advent wreath in the house and get to confession, I’ll call it a good advent. Well, we do have a wreath, anyway.

When I realized that I was missing my last reasonable chance (and no, it doesn’t seem reasonable to call up our unbelievably overworked priests and make a special appointment, when it’s not a spiritual emergency), I started casting around in my mind for something else I could do, something that would be almost as good as going to confession.

I had a chat with God about my sins, of course, and that was pretty good. I thought about some penitential things I could do. I even briefly considered cleaning the kitchen without complaining. And I remembered one more time: There is no substitute for the sacraments.

Of course there isn’t. I mean, we can make do in an emergency. If I were in an airplane that was spiraling toward the ground, I could make an act of perfect contrition, and I would be all set. If I were someone who had never heard of Jesus, I could regret the things that even a pagan knows are wrong, and I would be welcomed into my unknown father’s kingdom, right alongside the elderly priest who had the seven precepts of the Church memorized before he was weaned.

But those aren’t substitutions, so much as accommodations. There’s nothing better than the real thing, which is why Jesus gave the sacraments to the Church to give to us. I felt so stupid for missing my shot, but feeling stupid made me feel so grateful that there will be a next time. No need to invent anything, or figure out on my own how to wallow my way back to God.

So, don’t be stupid, be a smarty! If you still have a chance to get to confession, why not take a load off and be really ready for Christmas? And if you’re in a state of grace right now, don’t squander it! You’ve got an open line set up right to the Father, so talk talk talk. And put in a good word for me while you’re at it.

 

5 thoughts on “Your friendly last-minute Advent reminder!”

  1. Thank you for reminding me! I just checked my church’s website, and lucky me there are two opportunities still left to go today.

  2. “and no, it doesn’t seem reasonable to call up our unbelievably overworked priests and make a special appointment, when it’s not a spiritual emergency”

    Reasonable shmeasonable. Apart from the Mass, there is nothing I’d rather be doing than celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation – especially from anyone who takes the time to call and ask for it. Odds are good that you’re rescuing me from a morning or afternoon of emails and voice messages, to boot!

  3. Just pop down to Washington D.C. which has several churches, such as the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the Franciscan monastery, where they have confession available every day. Then think, if I can make an advent wreath, go to confession AND visit Washington D.C. it is a good Advent.

    I’ll even invite you over for dinner! Just let me know when you will be here!

  4. I actually do make an appointment for the family once a month, usually after daily Mass and before he begins his administrative/office work. There are five of us who are “of age” for the Sacrament. I figure Father probably prefers that we don’t take up five “slots” during the regular Confession time but maybe I’m wrong…..Hope you can figure out a time to receive! Have a blessed Advent.

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