A Vision of How My Sins Stab His Heart

It was an average, dirty snow, Minnesotan late afternoon where the sun that had hid its head all day and evening crept in early. I sat in the long, long line for Confession at our cathedral. The man to my left buried his face in his hands while the woman to my right was examining her conscience with one of those available handouts. I continued to check my phone for the time and any emergency texts from my husband.

Why am I really here? I haven’t committed any mortal sins. The line slid down incrementally closer to the one priest hearing confessions for dozens of us. Jesus, how bad are my venial sins? I closed my eyes and stopped reaching for my phone. The Blessed Sacrament perched in the monstrance on the altar and I asked Him very directly. Show me what my little tiny bad habits that barely qualify as sins do to Your heart.

My mind leapt to me flinging back a velvet covering over a manhole on a cobblestone street. Hungry flames licked up and blood sprayed everywhere like a severed artery. It was an inferno of suffering. I recoiled and recovered it with my mind’s eye as quickly as I could. My eyes stung and my chest heaved with contrition.

Sisters, when the leper asks Jesus to make him clean, his physical disease was obvious and apparent. (Luke 5:12) When we go to the priest in Confession and ask Jesus to make our souls clean, maybe the issues aren’t as visible. I’m a nice mom. I’m a kind friend. I’m a sweet wife. Nice enough, at least, I thought.

Christ gave me the gift of knowing how horrifically painful my small sins are to His heart. I share it with you so that you, too, can be convicted to root out our little sins, our easy selfish habits. Let’s be honest with ourselves and Him about how these little sins lead to a life of malaise and distance from Him.

He is waiting to heal us; we have only to ask.

He is waiting to heal us; we have only to ask. Click To Tweet

Sisters, if you don’t know what time Confession is offered around you, check out this site and put in your zip code or city. It will give you Mass times and Confession, too.

Nell O’Leary is a recovering lawyer turned blogger, speaker, and sewer of baby goods while tending to her husband and four kiddos in the great city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She serves as Managing Editor for Blessed is She and can down a hot cocoa in no time flat. Find out more about her here. She is the editor of our Blessed Conversations Series.


  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Powerful testimony, Nell! Thank you for sharing and the reminder that little sins can add up to big ones.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Amen! I need to work on rooting out my little sins. Thank you for this!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Nell, thank you for sharing that vision. Makes me want to go to confession ASAP!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Thank, you, for reminder me,of my venial sins. Amen

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I have a real problem with confession! I was raised Protestant and converted to Catholicism in 1994.
    I go, then sit there, thinking – I haven’t killed anyone, stolen anything, the list goes on and on of what I haven’t done.
    And I wonder why I’m there at all! I scrabble for something to confess.
    Even after 24 years I still battle.
    Thanks for this. It’s made me think. And I’m grateful. Will be writing about it on my website.

    • Reply
      Blessed is She
      January 23, 2019 at 10:56 am

      It’s a battle. I’m glad we’re fighting it together.

  • Reply
    Lily Arama
    January 11, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Was literally just praying about this same thing and here this is! Praise God for the Holy Spirit working in you.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 11:47 am

    I have rooting to do for sure! Thank you for your testimony!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing….very powerful reminder.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Wow. I needed to see this. Thanks so much for sharing. God is indeed working through you.

    • Reply
      Blessed is She
      January 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

      God is so good to use His imperfect instruments to help out!

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