At Mass today there was quite a long long for confession stretching over halfway between the confessional in the back and the sanctuary. We have confession available before every Mass and there is always somewhat of a line, but today being a Holy Day of Obligation those working downtown take advantage of both the location of the Church and the access to confession. As the line would shorten more people would start to get in line. If you have it they will come according to a paraphrase of the theology of Kevin Cosner and in this case I would agree with him.
For me there is something joyful about seeing such a line. Not that people have sins to confess, but that they will be forgiven of their sins and as the Psalmist wrote there sins will be as far away as the East is from the West. This sacramental action of Christ through the priesthood is really something wonderful to behold. I also love attending the Easter Vigil to see the adult converts who have never been baptized to get baptized for the first time. In a fell swoop of the Trinitarian formula and the use of water not only are all their sins forgiven, but all temporal punishments due to sin. You can quite well understand why some in the early Church put off baptism as long as they could to take advantage of this fact, but it is well and good that this practice has long since disappeared.
We can easily look at the Immaculate Conception and think that Mary got off quite easy as if this in and of itself prevented her from sinning. She was very much in the same type of state as Adam and Eve, yet they managed to sin. She had no concupiscence, but she could have chosen to disobey God just as Adam and Eve did. Her yes to God was a real and resounding yes that was not just something programmed into her by the grace of the Immaculate Conception. Though we also are given great gifts of grace also. Baptism, Confession, the Holy Eucharist and of course the other sacraments based on are state of life. Though we lack the exactly same gifts Mary received we can obtain the same goal and she will even help us out along the way. Hail Mary full of grace.