Christmas is just 10 days away, and tomorrow (Gaudete Sunday) we'll pass the halfway point of Advent. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, we may not feel like we've had much time to prepare ourselves spiritually for Christmas.
One very good way to slow down and take stock of our spiritual life is to set aside time to take advantage of the Sacrament of Confession. It's a good idea to go to Confession frequently--once per month is a good goal--but we often let this sacrament slide.
We shouldn't. Even if we're not aware of serious sin, the Sacrament of Confession can strengthen us to grow in our spiritual life. The grace of the sacrament helps us to avoid even venial sins, and frequent examination of our failings helps us to resolve to do better in the future.
While most parishes offer Confession every Saturday, many also have special expanded hours during seasons such as Lent and Advent. So if your schedule does not normally allow you to make it to Confession, check your bulletin. Going into Christmas with a grace-filled soul only increases the joy of the holiday!
(Pews and confessionals in the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Photo © Scott P. Richert)