As the years go by, we accumulate positive and negative experiences that leave imprints in our souls. Extremely strong experiences can determine our outlook on reality and impact our decisions about the future.
Without even realizing it, we begin to see life through the prism of these experiences, and sometimes we can even allow ourselves to be trapped by the negative ones, becoming blocked and somehow paralyzed.
For example, if we’ve been in destructive relationships and felt rejection, we can develop a fear of rejection, and experience insecurity in our relationships.
If we ignore these negative experiences, little by little they can take up a dwelling in our hearts, fettering our souls.
Sin is one of these negative experiences that mark our souls. Our sins are a betrayal of the One who loves us unconditionally and has given everything for us. They are a betrayal of ourselves, a rejection of the best that is in us and the plan for which we were created. As well, sin — as secret and private as it might seem — is a betrayal of our neighbor, of the members of the one body of Christ, of which we form a part.
The experience of sin and the awareness of guilt further tether the soul, draining strength from our capacity to love and give ourselves.
That’s why it is so important to go to confession: not only in order to receive God’s forgiveness and be taken again into his embrace, but also because the fact of recognizing my sinfulness and naming it is a step toward freedom from sin.
I know we encounter Christ in confession, but I wasn’t expecting THIS!
Along with confession, there is a tool for finding freedom from the negative experiences that bind our souls. This “tool,” in fact, will lead us closer to Christ, in confession and in the other sacraments.
This tool is a favorite of Pope Francis, and it is devotion to Our Lady, under the title Mary, Undoer of Knots.