Updated: Sep 10, 2021
God provides everything to us so that we are never lacking!
I wash all the sheets in our house once a week.
I know it is slightly crazy, but I cannot resist the comforts of a nice clean bed and so, even though the sheets are never on the beds long enough to become dirty, I like to wash them and give the house a good deep clean once a week so that I feel more in control of things around the place…
Each week, when I wake my family and tell them to start stripping the sheets from their beds, my husband looks at me like I am half mad and says, “But you just washed the sheets. Why are you washing them again?” And I look at him, dirty sheets in hand and reply, “But I always wash the sheets every week.”
After all, freshly laundered sheets on a bed are crisp and clean and smell like the wind. But sleep in them for just one day and they start to crinkle... Give it enough time – and enough sleeps – and the sheets start coming away from where they have been neatly tucked into the mattress and then when you tug them up to warm your shoulders in the middle of the night, your feet pop out from the base and you are cold and uncomfortable all night.
If you are unlucky enough to be sick with a fever during a night when you are asleep in your bed, you will sweat on those sheets and they will no longer smell like the wind, I can assure you.
And then there are children’s sheets… Inside those sheets there are crumbs and papers and toys and pencils and crayons and nose bleeds and a hundred other things that are smuggled bed that should not be and let me just assure you that I feel so much better when those sheets are clean.
I was thinking about this silly – and completely unnecessary – domestic routine of mine as I was picking those nice clean sheets from the clothesline the other day because they reminded me of important – and entirely necessary – spiritual routine of the sacraments.
Now, this experience with the sheets is not very different from our experiences with the sacraments. After all, each time we receive a sacrament it is like taking off all the old dirty sheets and replacing them with nice clean crisp ones – except with the sacraments it is our soul that is refreshed.
The best way to keep the beds from getting all messed up is to ensure that you follow a regular routine with the sheets. If you wash them weekly, there is no time for things to get untucked or dirty or even very crinkled before you remove those sheets and start your routine all over again.
The sacraments are pretty much the same. After all, when we receive the sacraments regularly, through regular reconciliation penance and Holy Communion – for example – we can ensure that though our soul becomes a little rumpled after the wear of day-to-day life, our soul is not overwhelmed by the filth of sin. After all, I have found personally, that is helps very much indeed with my decision-making, if I remember that I am going to need to confess that particular sin next Friday at 10am to Father XXX… Nothing like a bit of human pride inspire some humility!
That is not to say that we should be ashamed of confessing our sins. Of course not! Instead, we should approach the sacrament of Reconciliation with JOY – for it is a rebirth, an awakening to God’s great love for us. And the priest is His representative – God’s conduit – whom God Himself works through.
And so, while I fold up those nice clean sheets, and pack them away in the linen cupboard so that they are ready for the next week’s wash, I remember my God and all the gifts that He has provided. And I know that while my body shall sleep comfortably tonight in my nice crisp sheets, my soul too will have rest – for God provides – as He always has done, and I benefit.
What more could I ever ask for than that?
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.