Earlier this week I helped to hear the first confessions of our children at St Mary’s. This is the first I’ve done this, and what a sweet privilege it was! I was meditating not only on the privilege I had to hear these confessions, but on the advantages of first confession at a tender age. Here they are:
1. At an early age the child learns that he or she is not perfect
2. At the dawning of the age of accountability the child learns that he must be responsible
3. Right up front the child learns that God is loving and forgiving
4. The little child learns that when things go wrong forgiveness (not cover up) is the answer
5. The child steps up to the plate and does something difficult
6. In the self examination that is necessary the child begins the life long task of examining his life. (The unexamined life is not worth living)
7. He is introduced to the mystery of the sacramental life.
8. He begins to understand and accept the mysterious working of grace and providence.
9. The grown ups involved are reminded that unless they come like these little first communicants they cannot enter the kingdom
10. The little ones remind us that ‘little’ sins are not necessarily little in God’s eyes.