Do You Remember Your First Confession?

Chicago. St. Xavier’s Academy. Grade 2. Sister Michon, R.S.M.

Having difficulty with the question of Original Sin, I wasn’t buying it that Jesus was sent to save everyone because Adam and Eve ate some dumb fruit off a tree. I dug my heels in. I wanted an answer.

My second grade teacher eventually sent me to the priest who would be our first confessor. He was a gentle man and kinda looked like how I pictured God. I remember saying, “I’ve committed a lot worse sins than Adam and Eve and God isn’t sending Jesus to save anybody!” He asked me what was so terrible. “I clonked Bobby on his head and broke my mom’s pearls cause I was mad at her.”

“Are you sorry?” I think I said, “Yes.” He asked me if he could say the Act of Contrition with me. Then, he asked if I knew what penances were (here it comes, I’m going to get a whole rosary). Of course, I knew what penances were. We’d been studying all that since Christmas!

“All right,” he said, “Go home, give your brother a hug and tell your mom you’re sorry.”

“That’s it? No Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s or Glory Be’s?”

The question about Original Sin has been a struggle all my life. Perhaps that’s why I became a scripture scholar. Reading Matthew Fox’s delightful, yet profound, book, Original Blessing, I discovered I was asking the wrong question. During this Ordinary time before Lent, treat yourself to this blessing!

Pat Pickett, OblSB