Today was the first time I participated in the sacrament of reconciliation. My morning started of rather bumpy. I didn’t go to bed until late last night. The time change happened as well and I lost an additional hour of sleep. Needless to say I woke up being less than cordial. During this season of Lent I have been using the Magnificat Lenten companion. Today’s reading was the story of the prodigal son. The reading was enough to help me set aside my sleep deprived attitude. I fasted this morning. Mainly because every time I thought about confession I thought I was going to puke. Not really. The rumble in my tummy reminded me of the Hunger for Christ I have been walking with for quite some time now. At church this morning we prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary before mass. The sorrowful mysteries contain many scenes from Christ’s passion. Mass today switched to Year “A” readings for our “elect” (non-baptized RCIA people). It was the miracle of the blind man’s healing. It is also Laetare Sunday. The halfway-ish point of lent. It is also referred to as “Mothering Sunday”. By this point I can no longer smile at coincidence or serendipity. Somewhere along the way I caught a strong current in the river and was along the ride for the duration.
What else can I say? I did it. I confessed to every sin that I can recall for the last 37 years of my life. I did add a caveat or two. I didn’t give numbers of times for certain things. I made it clear that the answer was a) yes. b) I did it a lot. I did spend some time explaining several examples. Listing every person I’ve ever had hatred for would have taken the better part of a week. Then it was my turn to listen. I wish I could recall everything Fr. Jim said. Somehow, I don’t think that was the point. I remember some now, and am sure I remember more later. The one thing that struck a deep chord within me was about the validity of my confession. It was/is a valid confession. That I need to be alert to whispering that it is not valid. That is one of the most insidious lies that Satan can use to destroy someone. I don’t consider myself bullet proof from his persuasive arguments. I continually hold the thought that I shared my deepest darkest sins with a priest who was acting, “in persona christi”. I was given absolution, and those things are forgiven. The other thing I will not likely forget is the imagery Fr. Jim used to describe sin and God’s forgiveness. I will cite “who” in a later post. The image is that of sin falling off of me like rain, into an eternal pool of forgiveness and mercy. I think that may stay with me for a lifetime. After the Act of Contrition and absolution I didn’t really feel any different. I know different now though. (Side note to Nancy: He gave me a piece of chocolate and a hug when we were done!) I will do my penance on Thursday. Why Thursday? I want to do it during a holy hour of sacred adoration. It seems right.
Just before I sat down to write this post, I knew there was something else I needed to do. You can see it in the gallery of photos above. I have some prior experience with telling all and letting it go. This was the final act I needed to do. The pictures are telling (to me). I do feel different now. I feel lighter and happier.
Come on Easter. I’ve been waiting my whole life for You.