Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

We should be enthusiastic about the Sacrament of Confession's ability to recreate us.

While listening to Sundays gospel about the woman caught in adultery, I found myself pondering its parallel to our painting endeavor. The Pharisees dragged a sinner to Jesus as a means of putting Him to the test. Like the dirty, scuffed walls of our pale yellow cell, the adulteress was soiled by her transgressions. I can only imagine how impure and unworthy she must have felt standing accused in the center of those men. Her sin laid bare for all to see and judge.


By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Catholic Online (

3/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: reconciliation, confession, painting, mercy, penance, spiritual healing, renewal, Tara K. E. Brelinsky

ZEBULLON, NC (Catholic Online) - Halfway to meeting our expected little one, I decided was the ideal time for room swapping in our household. The nursery which had become the youngest boys' domain needed to be reclaimed.  Fantasizing about picture perfect rooms, I mapped out my plan.

Of course, my Better Homes and Gardens daydreams were balanced out by budget realities. So, rather than head to the nearest home improvement store, I descending into the basement to rummage through my ample cache of leftover paint cans.Score! Turns out we had two shades of blue paint, enough to renew the battered, old, pale yellow guestroom walls.

As my son assisted me in securing all the necessary supplies, I reminded him of the importance of preparation before commencing a project. Taking the time to map out the endeavor, counting your inventory and having your tools at the ready, all make the job easier.

First, the drop-cloth was laid. Then, we pried open and stirred those buckets of blue before pouring out the desired amount into the paint tray. Armed with the roller, my son's assignment was to cover the interior of the walls; while I utilized my small brush to define the edges and corners. 

With each stroke, the tired yellow walls began to revive. The scuff marks and smudges disappeared. Ugly imperfections vanished. By day's end, the room felt new again. That's why I love painting, in fact, because it allows me to recreate a space with minimal expense in a limited amount of time. Color, alone, can change the personality of our surroundings.

While listening to Sundays gospel about the woman caught in adultery, I found myself pondering its parallel to our painting endeavor. The Pharisees dragged a sinner to Jesus as a means of putting Him to the test. Like the dirty, scuffed walls of our pale yellow cell, the adulteress was soiled by her transgressions. I can only imagine how impure and unworthy she must have felt standing accused in the center of those men. Her sin laid bare for all to see and judge.

But then our dear, merciful Jesus knew her worth, her inner beauty, her potential. Like a painter sees a picture while the canvas is still blank, He saw her heart. In His wisdom, He also read the hearts of her accusers and knew their deceptive motives. So He turned the test back upon them by instructing, "Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her."   Knowing no one of them was without guilt, they each walked away. 

As Jesus gazed up again at the woman, He asked, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" And when she told Him no one had, He finished, "Neither do I condemn you.  Go away, and from this moment sin no more." Where moments before the woman was stained by her sins, she left the presence of Jesus cleansed and renewed. 

Many times I feel like that former yellow room, marked up with sin and guilt, ugly and unattractive interiorly. Sure I can live with those sins, silently carrying around that self-imposed burden, but like dirty walls my sin changes the perspective of everything.

In the Catholic Tradition, we are blessed with the great Sacrament of Reconciliation through which we can experience in a tangible way the renewal of our soul. We start by preparing.  In examining our conscience, we map out our endeavor and take inventory of our sins. Honesty/accountability, sincere contrition, purpose of amendment and penance are the required tools.

No matter whether our sins seem huge or minimal, sin is sin. Jesus washes away our trespasses with equal measure. As our roller and brush dispersed fresh color in our room renovation, so the priest's words of absolution dissolve our iniquities.Jesus Christ paints us anew, saturates us with His mercy.

My little boys were amazed and excited by our one day recreation of their newly assigned bedroom. How much more we should be enthusiastic about the Sacrament of Confession's ability to recreate us. 

Of course in time, tiny hand prints and careless play will leave their marks on those freshly painted, blue walls; just as our careless words and selfish actions will leave their marks on our clean souls. But, the remedies are as easy as grabbing a paint bucket or heading to our local confessional.


Tara K. E. Brelinsky is a home schooling mother of seven living children, with six more heavenly ones who intercede (and a little soul expected to arrive in August). Married to her childhood sweetheart, they make their home in North Carolina where they teach Natural Family Planning, grow a garden, raise two dogs, a cat, a fish, ducks, roosters and a flock of hens (in addition to all those wonderful kids). Tara studied journalism a lifetime ago in college, but now she writes simply for the the glory of God. You can read more of her musings and inspirations on her blog "Blessings In Brelinskyville" (www.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Living Faith

Come together this Thanksgiving with a beautiful prayer Watch

Image of Each year thousands of families celebrate Thanksgiving, but make the food their priority. This year, make God and all He has given us your priority.


Each year, millions of people across the United States rush to grocery stores and prepare to visit their families in celebration of Thanksgiving. Visiting loved ones and enjoying a specially prepared meal are both wonderful parts of celebrating, but don't forget to ... continue reading

Pope Francis: Jesus is weeping over a WORLD AT WAR

Image of Pope Francis mourns a world at war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made it clear, Jesus is weeping over a world at war. It has become obvious that this is a time of extreme danger for all people around the globe. No population is safe from terror. The threats aren't just from terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al ... continue reading

Oxford to begin study of Catholic relics. Here are 5 macabre relics people venerate from around the world Watch

Image of The skull of St. Thomas Aquinas.


The veneration of relics in the Catholic Church has been one of the most debated practices in the faith. While such veneration is actually common in the human experience -even Communists did it with the body of Lenin, the veneration of relics in the Church is the ... continue reading

Nine bishops, one abbot, dine and dialogue with peace activists Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops' fall assembly in Baltimore, several bishops and one abbot, decided to skip dinner at the downtown Marriott Waterfront hotel, and walked several blocks to an inner city parish to share a simple meal with about 30 peace ... continue reading

Woman turns her cancer over to Jesus Christ - survives, thrives Watch

Image of Heather King shares her struggles in her new memoir,

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Heather King never cared much for doctors. Los Angeles, CA (CNA) - It's an attitude she partly inherited from her mother, "who classified ginger ale as a medicine, considered Novocain a snobbish extravagance" and somehow managed to avoid a visit to the doctor's office ... continue reading

Top 5 ways to find joy Watch

Image of Find happiness in spite of the darkness.


It is easy to fall prey to depression and sadness with everything that has been going on in the world these days. The trick to maintaining a positive attitude and living in the joy God has for us is as easy as following five simple steps. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent Watch

Image of What millions of Christians do a day after expressing thanks for what they already have.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Want to lose the War on Christmas? Surrender Advent. We Christians have gone out of our minds, arguing about Starbucks cups and greeters who (correctly) say "Happy Holidays" in place of "Merry Christmas." In all the bustle of the season, we have forgotten that Advent ... continue reading

Cardinal Sarah releases new book, 'God or Nothing,' on civilization's fall from grace Watch

Image of Without God, the cardinal said,

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

At the presentation of his new book, Cardinal Robert Sarah said that Western society is rapidly forgetting God, and expressed his desire to help people rediscover him through both prayer and witness. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "I would like to help people ... continue reading

Holy Door in St. Peter's basilica to open for first time in 15 years for Holy Year of Mercy Watch

Image of The rite of the opening of the Holy Door is intended to symbolically illustrate the idea that the Church's faithful are offered an

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Hidden since the Jubilee of 2000, the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica was revealed Tuesday as the brick wall covering it was removed in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy launching next month. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the ... continue reading

5 powerful Bible verses you need when fear and terror strike Watch

Image of


Fear is a powerful thing. Fear can completely cripple the body and soul. Since the terrifying Paris terrorist attacks last week the news has been full of death, terrorists, murder and fear. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those not in power are left wondering ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:15-27
15 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:34-36
34 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, ... Read More