(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 4 March 2016)
Let us remember that we are in God’s Holy Presence:
Today I am taking my freshmen Religion students to the Brother’s Chapel to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Some of my students have never seen a confessional or Reconciliation Room before, so in class I was trying to come up with a metaphor to help them understand the sacrament and the human need for forgiveness. After trying the penalty box in hockey or getting grilled by Dr. Phil, I finally settled on an “oil change” for your car.
Every time I trade in my old car or get a new lease at the dealership on Route 6 in Seekonk, my salesman Scott always reminds me, “Get an oil and filter change every 3,000 miles, and you won’t have any major problems.” I believe we can apply Scott’s words of advice, to our spiritual lives.
Think of “going to confession” as part of your “spiritual maintenance agreement” with God. He offers you a lifetime warranty to fix anything in your life, if you let him. That’s the “manufacturer’s” promise, but now you have to keep up your end of the deal. If you’ve been baptized a Catholic, you should go periodically to the sacrament of Reconciliation to fulfill your part of the warranty, or covenant. In the same way that you need to change the oil and filter every 3,000 miles for your car, you need to follow a regular schedule of preventative maintenance for your spiritual life.
You might think, “Oh my life is running just fine. I don’t need any scheduled maintenance.” But without realizing it, you can let impurities slip into the oil of your school life, or your relationships might get heavy, thick and dark, and your engine (that is, your soul) won’t run at peak efficiency anymore. Maybe the pistons in your spiritual engine are starting to struggle a bit or the gears are starting to grind. If you don’t take care of your spiritual engine, you will eventually wear out. You’ve seen those people pulled over to the side of the road in distress, with their emergency flashers on, the hood up and the “check engine oil” light on. That can happen to your spiritual life, if you don’t take time, to keep up with the regularly scheduled maintenance.
So whenever you’re personally feeling a little dusty and grimy and you have to take a deep breath, or when your acceleration is feeling sluggish, go to confession—it’s like getting a personal oil and filter change. In a jiffy, you feel like a new person, gearing up with God’s help, to get back in the road race called life.
Let us pray:
Merciful Father, please give us the will-power to step forward and receive the grace of your forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation. It’s not easy to admit our faults, but give us the courage to examine our consciences honestly so that we might turn away from sin, and turn back to You, Lord Jesus.
Holy Spirit, help us complete our penance and works of charity in this Year of Mercy. Enkindle the fire of your love in the hearts of your faithful.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE. Pray for us.
LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS. Forever!
David Martinez–Religion Teacher