Fanning My Bright Red Sin

My latest column at The Catholic Answer is showing up about now, and as we’re in Holy Week, it’s a timely reminder that confession is good for the soul:

The memory still stings: there I was, age 7, the veteran of a splendidly moving and memorable first holy Communion and graced with an oddball love of the Sacrament of Confession in all of its velvet-curtained-sliding-screen ambiance, planning to steal a toy “ladies fan” from a candy store, simply to see if I could.

The fan was red, and I had always been — and still am — a sucker for all things red. It was airy, lacy and flamboyant, and I had the 10 cents the thing cost in my pocket.

But the toy display was on the other side of the cashier, and the devil was on my shoulder: “Take it,” he whispered. “I bet you could slip it into your pocket and no one would know.”

Petty theft, which I had never before aspired to, became suddenly a tantalizing challenge. And the fan was red. I took it. I cleverly slipped the thing into my sleeve and casually walked out the door. It was so easy. And so completely unsatisfying.

By the time I’d walked home, fanning myself all the way in a manner I was sure duplicated the graceful lines of a señorita, I had begun to feel a peculiar emptiness that was new, and throughout the day that feeling grew, until it threatened to become a black hole into which I could disappear. By eventide, I had thrown the fan away from me in disgust. It wasn’t mine; it was ill-gotten booty. I had sinned, and it was not good.

You can read the rest, here

And don’t forget to go to confession!

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About Elizabeth Scalia