Give Yourself the Gift of Confession this Lent

Give Yourself the Gift of Confession this LentGo to confession. Truly.

Church teaching requires that Catholics go to confession at least once a year. However, to grow in the spiritual life, the Church encourages Catholics to go at least once a month (when I was young, we were encouraged to go every two weeks). But this post isn’t about the theology behind confession or Church teach.

You see, I love going to confession. Besides the Eucharist, Confession is my favorite sacrament. (Crazy, I know!) Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous sometimes when I go to confession. I sometimes think I don’t have anything to say. And yes, I often confess the same things over again. But that’s okay!

When we go to Confession, we don’t just have our sins forgiven. We gain grace and strength to live out our womanly vocation. Additionally, depending on the priest, we can get some really good insights and/or advice. Even if we don’t, we still encounter Christ in a very real and profound way in Confession.

Sure, just like the liturgy, it is great if get to confess to a priest who is on fire for his faith and truly a vessel of Christ. But, sadly, that just isn’t always going to happen unless we are blessed to be in a parish with priests who understand the value of the sacrament. We just need to remember that no matter what vessel Jesus decides to use, it is JESUS we confess to in the Sacrament. Years ago, I read in a book that when we go to confession we “whisper into the ear of Jesus.” That has made such an impact on me and to this day I try to remember that when I go to confession.

Over the years, I have gone to confession to some wonderful priests and there have been times when I left the confessional wondering if the sacrament was valid! One day I realized that I have a choice. I know the priests in the area that I like and I try to make a point of confessing to them. Of course, I realize that I am blessed to live in an area where there are several churches with at least two priests in the parish. If you live in an area where that is not possible, please don’t let that stop you from the Sacrament. The grace is still there!

So please, if you can, please take the opportunity to go to confession. Here is a little blurb on how to make a good confession, if you need it.

***************

Tweetable: Give Yourself the Gift of Confession

Teaching Kids How to Handle Money

Teacking Your Kids How to Handle Money

Yesterday, Dawn over at By Sun and Candlelight wrote a great post about Kids, Money and Chores. She asked the following questions:

” 1. Do you give your children an allowance, and if so, must they earn it by doing chores?

2. How do your children handle their money – deciding what to spend, save, and give?

3. Do your children have jobs outside the home?”

Great questions, no? I posted my answer over at Dawn’s blog, but I wanted to do so here as well for two reasons: 1. I can give a more comprehensive answer; and 2. I’d love to hear my readers (that would be you!) handle this topic with their children.

In my answer to Dawn’s first question I stated that we don’t give allowance – not exactly, anyway. Nor do we connect doing chores with getting paid – in a way. We kind of combine the two. There are certain chores that Andrew has to do (without pay) just because he is part of our family. These chores include making his bed, keeping his room clean, picking up after himself, putting his laundry away, setting the table before meals and helping to clear the table afterwards.

When those chores are done, and done well, then he can do other chores that he gets paid for. These chores include helping with the garden, sweeping or vacuuming the floor, dusting, or whatever else he and I come up with. The cost for each chore depends on the time and difficulty of a particular chore. What makes this different from an allowance is that he gets paid for the chore the same day, and not weekly. Sometimes he gets paid immediately after the chore and sometimes at the end of the day.

The reason we do this is because, well, it works for us! Andrew is only 7 (so obviously #3 is taken care of, he doesn’t work out of the home) and he likes the immediate reward of getting his money right away. He gets his money and makes a big deal out of counting the money (homeschool activity) and putting it in the band. When he gets older we will be switching to a weekly payment – with a twist (taking out “taxes” – more on that in a future post).

How does Andrew handle his money? We follow a system similar to Dave Ramsey. Andrew has three banks. Part of his money goes into a bank for saving, part of it goes into a bank for giving and the rest goes into a bank for spending or short-term saving. (Either this week or next I’ll do a post showing how this works.)

Our biggest challenge in teaching Andrew how to handle money is being consistent. I’m the frugal one in the family and Michael is for sure the spender – although he is MUCH better now of the last few years than ever before. We’ve done the Financial Peace University program and learned tons from it. We are doing our best to follow the principles laid out in the program. We’ve struggled, are struggling, financially but we are working on getting debt free and following the system the best we can. We want to teach Andrew by example and we want him to develop good money habits NOW while he is still young.

How are you teaching your kids how to handle money? Do you have a system in place or just ‘winging it”? How would you answer the above three questions? Leave your response in the comments.