Marriage & Family Life: Father & son discover God's love through reconciliation
by Adam Storey | June 25, 2019
This past month, my son, Gabriel, went to confession for the first time and he received his First Communion.
I have to say that watching him prepare for these sacraments has been one of the highlights of my fatherhood. My wife does so many things well, and the way she accompanied Gabriel throughout the process, reflecting with him and inviting him deeper, was simply amazing.
One of the beautiful moments for me was watching Gabriel prepare for his first confession. He wrestled with his examination of conscience, wanting to make sure he brought all his sins.
He was a little nervous, having the same fears in his heart that all of us have experienced “what will father think when I say this?”
And yet he was excited, because he knew that in this sacrament he gets to hear Jesus say to him personally, “Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.”
When Gabriel left the confessional he was beaming. He talked to me about feeling joy and freedom, and he loved the sacrament so much that he asked to go again the next week.
I wanted to share this experience because seeing his love for the sacrament of confession has renewed my love for the sacrament. I’ve often felt the same nervousness that Gabriel felt. I’ve felt frustration for having to confess the same sins over and over again.
But what a profound, amazing, unspeakable gift to be able to go to Jesus and lay my heart bare, and then audibly hear Jesus, through the priest, tell me to go in peace as my sins are forgiven.
I am convinced that one of the most important messages each of us needs to hear is that we are loved, that we are lovable. We need to hear it over and over again, and we need to hear it no matter what situation we’re in and what we’re going through.
And praise God, Jesus knows that about us, so he gave us the sacrament of confession in order to hear, out loud, those words.
If you’ve been away from this sacrament I’d invite you to go back, and if you have found freedom and peace in this sacrament please share that experience with others.
The world needs this treasure of mercy and love, and we need to share it!
-- By Adam Storey
Diocesan Director of Marriage & Family Life