I clean up a lot of messes: messy face covered in food, messy floor covered in toys, and a messy bottom covered in...well, you know what it’s covered in. Everyday it’s the same thing, over and over and over again...oh hey! my son just dumped out all the toys I cleaned up. Ugh!
I could leave the toys sitting on the floor, walk around them all day long, and then clean them up after he goes to bed. Or, I could just go on strike and refuse to clean up the toys. The poem “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out” by Shel Silverstein comes to mind. I had to recite this poem when I was in speech therapy as a kid because I had a lisp. Every time I said s, c, or z wrong the therapist would click a lap counter. To this day I hate lap counters, but I’m not scarred...much. I digress.
Where was I? Not picking up toys...The house would get messier and messier, then the regular cleaning wouldn’t get done because who would clean around lots of tiny toys. And then we are left with nastiness!
What if God stopped cleaning up our messes? What if God stopped forgiving our sins? Our souls would become as nasty as Sarah Cynthia Syliva Stout’s house! Thankfully, God won’t stop doing that because it’s not who God is. God is always there to forgive the sinner, but that does not mean that we should live our lives in souls that are mucky and nasty, filled with discarded banana peels and coffee grinds!
I know many Catholics who are uncomfortable with “going to Confession” and the statistics suggests that 75% of Catholics don’t go to Confession or go less than once a year. YIKES! If a soul is like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout’s house, then how can goodness, like the Eucharist, get in there and take effect? If the Eucharist is food for the soul, then Reconciliation is cleansing crew for the soul. When the soul doesn’t get a good cleaning, then the rottenness can spread and infect the healthy areas of the soul.
One of the most important ministries for a Catholic priest to preform is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sarah was able to escape her house, but each of us has only one soul and you can’t go buy a new one. Don’t be like Sarah, go take your soul garbage out!