Our vacation plan for this year included a trip to the Great White North to enjoy a week of snow, play, and skiing. Driving north, the landscape turned from winter browns to gleaming white. Unfortunately, flurries and snowstorms met us along the way, as well as road salt and ice.
Upon arrival, the car was filthy. Two days of toys, food crumbs, and wrappers littered the floor, and the road dirt caked on the truck's body panels. I took it in for a half-day detailing this morning, and at lunchtime, it was spotless.
It killed me to drive out of the detailing bay and know that it has to make it all through the week and back home. Again, the same ice, dirt, and trash will return, only this time I'll have to clean it. I desired to keep it as clean as possible, but I knew it was a fool's errand. As soon as I pulled out of the clean bay and on the dirty road, the cycle repeated.
Next week, Benedict will take the next step in his faith journey, making his First Reconciliation. He's excitedly engaged in our many discussions and teachable moments and is wrapped in a great sense of anticipation to receive his next Sacrament.
Reconciliation is that detailing, a thorough cleaning that returns us to Baptismal purity. The white garment that we pledged to keep clean for the banquet of the lamb, restored to its original state. As soon as we walk out of the Church, temptation awaits. Try as we might, we will pick up dirt and trash as we go through life.
I can take the car in to get detailed whenever I want, just like the Sacrament of Reconciliation is ready for us on demand. We can get back to that brilliant shine at any time and move through our day with our heads held high and the pride of a well-maintained soul. But to do so, we must first choose to embrace the process of detailing.