The road to hell is shoulder to shoulder with nice people who never do anything very bad, but also never do anything very good. Complacent, ordinary folks who say, “Yeh, well, I’m only human. It’s true I have some faults, but I’m working on them. But I’m not really a sinner. I mean, I’ve never murdered anyone! Chuckle chuckle.” This road is a broad, nicely paved road with a very, very slight downward incline–enough to keep us coasting, but not enough to notice that we’re going downhill.
As long as we don’t think we need God we’re far from God. On the other hand, as soon as we even resolve to go to confession we’ve taken the narrow side turning off the broad road. As soon as we step into the confessional and get on our knees we’re back on track with God. It almost doesn’t even matter what we confess. What matters is that our heart has turned back to God. We’ve acknowledged our need of him. We’ve therefore put ourselves back into his will.
Confession is actually a good, healthy and wholesome thing to do. It’s healthy and wholesome like getting up early, getting some exercise, turning off the TV and eating our vegetables.
What I can’t understand is how anyone–most of all Catholics–can live without it. Along with the Eucharist, it’s water for the thirsty, food for the hungry, light for the blind and fresh air for those who are locked in the dungeon of self and sin.