Lent possesses several Golden Doors. Passing through them assures the outpouring of graces that unite us to Christ Crucified. Three we have already seen: mortification, prayer, and almsgiving. But no one of these can compare with the fourth. That door dwarfs the other three. It is the sacrament of Confession. The other Golden Doors help us to see the wounds of Our Lord more clearly. Only Confession allows us to touch those wounds. Those other doors bring us to adoration of the Precious Blood. Confession alone bathes us in the Precious Blood. The three other Golden Doors lead us to a sorrow for our sins. Only the Confessional destroys every trace of those sins.
Without Confession our Faith is external. A hollow ceremonial, a thin intellectual abstraction. In the Confessional our souls glow like steel in a furnace. Distance from Confession is like a man without oxygen. His soul suffers slow asphyxiation. But as it suffocates, the soul experiences a delirium: it ceases to see sin, or justifies it by other names. It finds itself sinking in tepidity, a slow unwillingness to fulfill our obligations, an increasing tendency to flirt with mortal sin.
When Our Lord cried out from the Cross: “I thirst”, He was not pleading for water. He was pleading for your love. Your fidelity. Quench that thirst of the Savior. Frequently fall to your knees before the priest, begging: “Bless me Father, for I have sinned”.