About once a month we drag our six children to Confession at a local parish. I use the word drag because that’s how it feels. The kids complain about dressing in appropriate church attire, the imposition of abandoning their neighborhood play dates in lieu of a Saturday afternoon sacrament, and their perpetual state of “starvation.” Their objections are sandwiched between rhetorical statements like “Why should I go to confession again? I just went last week!”
On top of the basic challenge of getting everyone out the door, if we don’t arrive by a certain time, we won’t have any face-to-face time with the priest. Punctuality is of the essence and the narrow timeline adds to the burden of receiving the sacrament.
By the time we arrive, I’m tense, snappy and issuing threats through gritted teeth. At least once during the preparation and drive to church, I offer an impassioned State Of The Union about the inherent weaknesses of all my family members — including their chronic lateness, disobedience, and general spiritual lassitude — and absolutely no one is convicted by my diatribe.
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