This past lesson was on making good choices. We discussed contrition, the difference between mistakes and accidents and sin, the different kinds of sins, and making a good examination of conscience. These are very young children, but they have a pretty good grasp of this information believe it or not.
While composing the e-mail to the parents, I really felt compelled to say something to them about sin and the Catholic Church's motivation for helping us to think about our sins. Here it is, unmodified for this blog posting.
Many times we can wonder why the Catholic Church seems to want us to focus so much on sin. This may be the most important note I can ever pass on to you and to the children: The Church does not want us to beat ourselves up about sin. The Church does not want us to think about our sins so that we feel like we are bad people. The reason that we should think about our sins (examination of conscience) is to find the areas of our life we need to fix in order to heal our relationship with God and to be with Him for eternity; to learn to do better. A good examination of Conscience is a positive thing. It is looking at the way God wants me to live, to compare that to the way I have been living, so that I recognize where I have gotten off track and need to refocus on particular areas of my life, striving to do better with His Grace. And even more, going to God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is real healing; God's forgiveness and Mercy understood in this way is real power. Like a good parent, the Church wants only the very best for us, what is most important. There is nothing more important than the salvation of souls. This is the mission of the Church., and it is precisely out of love that we are called to this great Sacrament.