Kindergartener: Daddy, what is Original Sin?
Me: Well, buddy, when God created Adam and Eve He created them in friendship with Himself, that's called sanctifying grace. We were all meant to be born and live our entire lives in this state of friendship with God, this state of grace. But Satan tricked Adam and Eve into committing the first sin. When they sinned they betrayed God and were no longer His friends. Ever since, everyone has been born outside the state of grace, this is called Original Sin. Do you know how we have Original Sin washed off us?
Me: Very good, buddy! When we are baptized Original Sin is washed away and we are made friends with God again, in fact we are made His sons and daughters. Do you know how we can fall back out of a state of grace after baptism?
K: When we sin.
Me: Right. But not all sins put us outside of friendship with God, only really bad sins, like sins that break the 10 Commandments. These we call mortal sins, because they kill our relationship with God. If we die while in mortal sin we won't go to Heaven. Do you know how we can be forgiven these sins?
K: Go to confession.
Me: Right, when we commit a mortal sin we should go to confession as soon as possible.
K: What if you want to go to confession, but you can't and you die.
Me: If you mean to go to confession, but you couldn't, God will forgive you. As long as you were sorry and were trying to get to confession, you're still forgiven. God knows what is in our hearts.
K: What happens if we die with small sins. Do we have to go to confession for these?
Me: While it's good to confess all our sins, we only have to confess mortal sins. Small sins, we call them venial sins, are sins that do not kill our friendship with God and will not keep us out of Heaven. Purgatory will cleanse us from all venial sins. Which is why Purgatory is a great blessing. Everyone in Purgatory will someday be in Heaven. The only bad place to go is Hell. What is your favorite place to go to?
K: Grandpap's house...no the park...no Dunkin Donuts...
Me: Imagine Heaven is eating donuts in the park.
Me: Purgatory is like driving in the car. It's not fun, but you have to do it to get to the park!
K: Are mortal sins taken away in Purgatory?
Me: No. Only smaller sins.
K: Why not?
Me: Mortal sins make us enemies of God, but everyone in Heaven is God's friend, so we have to die without mortal sin on our souls to be with God in Heaven.
K: So everybody who loves God goes to Heaven?
Me: Everybody in Heaven loves God and everybody who doesn't love God isn't in Heaven, but some people who love God still end up in Hell.
Me: No sins can be in Heaven. You have to leave all your sins behind. Some people love God, but they love their sins even more, these people would rather be in Hell with their sins than in Heaven with God. Purgatory will burn up all the sins that enter it. Some people love their sins so much they would rather burn up with them than let them go. To let our sins go we have to be sorry for them. As long as we are truly sorry for our sins, we can go to Heaven
K: Okay. So to go to Heaven I have to love God and be sorry for my sins?
Me: Right. If you stay close to Jesus you'll want to be sorry for your sins. The more we love Him the more we will hate sin because He hates sin. Do you know who helps God decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell?
K: SAINT MICHAEL! He weighs the souls. (K is a big fan of St. Michael and is wearing a St. Michael t-shirt)
Me: The saints help us to love God, to live good lives, and to be sorry for our sins. But you don't have to worry about all this right now, you are too young to sin or go to confession.
K: When can I go to confession?
Me: Second grade.
K: That's when I can receive the Eucharist!!
Me: Right, buddy. Now, let's go inside.