Aleteia

Why it’s a blessing for children to know that their father goes to confession

PRIEST, CONFESSION, MAN
Philippe Lissac / Godong
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A dad who humbly repents of his sin and shows his need for mercy teaches his sons and daughters something very important about God.

When dad goes to confession, it’s a good thing. Even the parish priests go to confession. When the adult world gets down on its knees and repents of sin, a sincere dimension of adult life is revealed, because at that moment we reveal to our children that to grow, to mature, to progress and build our lives does not mean becoming immaculate and sinless; it means we grow in humility.

All parents need God’s mercy

You can’t lie to children. And we are not making them more fragile by showing them that their parents need God’s mercy. Jesus is the Savior of all of us! Before entering the confessional, Pope Francis himself goes to confession under the watchful eyes of the faithful, showing us the way. And his word is no less credible because of this—far from it.

I know children who pray for their parents to go to confession. They feel that those who are their role models, their points of reference and whom they rely on for growing up, will not be able to keep that position if they’re not humble and sincere. What clarity they have!

Certainly, the position of authority is still there, but it is no longer worldly, no longer an assumed, false pose—it is based on the fact that we are fathers and fathers by the grace of God. It is not some power we possess by virtue of our merits that makes us fathers, or father figures; it is the mission that we have received from God in spite of our weaknesses. There is no need to play at being parents; we have to be parents through the authenticity we have received from God.

Happy are the children whose parents kneel

If Dad confesses, I, his son, see that his authority comes from somewhere else. And if I can see that God is greater than my parents, then I will not confuse their mistakes with God, their possible injustices will not make God an unjust God. This way of situating our educational and family role in its relationship with the Lord is a way of seeing through the eyes of faith, seeing the substance of this role which is, in fact, a mission.

Vincent de Mello

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