A good article by John Malllon on Confession: Spiritual Hygiene
There was a saying in the first half of the 20th century that people would take a bath every Saturday night whether they needed it or not. And how about the medieval days when people would bathe once a year? To our modern sensibilities, especially for Americans, who have the luxury of bathing daily, these stories make you gag.
But then, we sometimes hear of Catholics who can say with a straight face that they go to confession once a year whether they need it or not. This astounds me. If I went to confession no more than once a year, I would be smoked out by my own soul stench.
The Church requires that Catholics go to Holy Communion and Confession at least once a year. This is called doing one’s Easter Duty, but doing the absolute minimum is a miserable way to be a Catholic.
Saint Therese of Lisieux referred to her first Holy Communion as “that first kiss of Jesus.” This is what being a Catholic is all about. If we see it only as a set of rules and requirements we miss the boat. People in love see that rules are already written in their hearts and welcome and cherish them for the security and protection they provide.
You don’t need to tell a man truly in love not to commit adultery. The very idea is horrifying to him—as is anything that would hurt his beloved and the bond they share. Love has already taught him the rules in his heart. The true lover wants nothing to stand in the way of the free flow of love. For this reason he loves the rules for confirming what is already in his heart through love.
What stands in the way of love, both natural and supernatural is sin. The lover who sees sin appear between he and his beloved has one reaction: “Get rid of it!” We get rid of sin in the confessional. If we loved more we would be flying to the confessional, not out of scrupulosity or neurotic guilt but out of love, out of respect for both our human and supernatural loves. Sin does damage to all we hold dear.