I woke up this morning with a purpose. It was 7 am, and I had gotten more than my share of sleep the night before by virtue of a communal gathering of me, my couch, and the inside of my eyelids converging in blissful harmony at 8 pm.
Last night I backed up all of the files on my computer to my external hard drive, and this morning I strapped on my construction boots and cutoff jean shorts and got right to work. I completely reformatted my computer's hard drive and reinstalled Mac OSX. I did this because my computer had started to slow down to the point where it took a good 30 seconds to load programs. The most frustrating part, and the final motivator in all of this was the fact that even typing had become a chore on my computer. As I would type, the characters flowing from my keyboard would lag and fall behind - I wouldn't be able to see what I was typing for a couple seconds. Annoying to say the least.
Now that I've got everything installed and my computer working like a well-oiled machine (I poured olive oil in the fan port - it was dry as a bone in there!), I'm able to be productive and get things done with my computer - the way it was meant to be used. While thinking about how awesome it is to have a perfectly functioning computer, I thought about how reinstalling and reconfiguring everything on my computer applied to confession, and how they are so similar.
Nearly every action on a computer has an effect on the bigger picture. If you install a program and then delete it, the program will leave residual files on your computer. Over time, these files build up and can slow down your processor. This reminded me of the effect our every day decisions have on our relationships with God and others. It's amazing how sin can seem so harmless in the moment, but yet so damaging in the long term. We fall into the trap of thinking that as long as we're not hurting others directly, our actions don't affect anyone else but ourselves.
Much like a program that leaves files hidden in the background long after it's gone, sin has the power to slow our relationship with God and influence our ability to love. Sin turns us in on ourselves and makes us focus on our internal selfish desires, rather than the true task of Love as Catholics and Christians.
Confession allows us this wonderful opportunity to get rid of these "programs" (sin) that affect our ability to truly love others and God. Through the Grace offered in the sacrament, I'm looking forward to the opportunity today to "reinstall" my second operating system, and start looking for opportunities to truly love others.