Probably no one you know need the grace of Confession more than I do. (Yes, there are greater sinners who commit great sins, but admit it, you never met a murderer, you don't keep company with high-rollers in the evil stakes...)
The Paper of Record has a snippet on a study that indicates people who commit some act they think of as virtuous often, seemingly as a result, then give themselves license to indulge in a vice.
Saved resources by bringing your re-usable bags to the market? bought those squidgy-looking gnarled "organic" vegetables?
You deserve a cupcake!
You just earned the right to scarf down a bag of potato chips!
I understand that. I am a big scorekeeper, so-and-so was mean, and I didn't retaliate, so now I get to....
Get to what?
Be mean back at a time to be named later?
Give myself the bigger portion when I carve the roast?
And worst of all, nothing, just smile quietly and smugly and allow myself to think of myself as the Better Person, (which is a mighty reward.)
If I see I have been short-changed at the store, I have been known to shop-lift an item that costs exactly the difference by which I was over-charged. That was red delicious I bought yesterday and she rang it up as honey crisp, that comes to a 64 cent difference, I'm going to eat an apple fritter while I'm walking around shopping, that only costs 58 cents, so they're still 6 cents ahead, I AM A GOOD PERSON.
But I am not, you see.
Once, years ago, I was spending money I really couldn't afford on a holiday clothing drive for infants and toddlers.
I knew a thrift store that had heaps of new items, and lots of barely used, high-end things, so I headed there and took a long time going over every piece carefully, and gathered a cart full of lovely, well-made red garments, mostly NWT.
Easily having found thirty times the amount of similar clothing I could have afforded if I had just walked into a mall store and picked the first thing off the rack, and feeling very smart and very generous, as I was getting ready to check-out I shoplifted a necklace.
That cost all of a dollar.
Fortunately, someone saw me, and I didn't steal it, and further, it was a day when I knew confessions were being heard in another parish in town, so I drove straight from my sin to Church.
But what is that in me?
The priest told me that I would be surprised how often he hears stories like that, and I guess the License to Snack blog bears that out.
But God is good.
With Waugh, I can profess,