Follow by Email

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'The Grace of Penance'

Yesterday I hit a wall - with alot of things:  packing; "I've had it up to here with" I could fill several things in there... I slept (fitfully) ... when I got up, as I was awaiting the coffee, it dawned on me - "oh NO there are things not only behind the glass in the cabinet still to pack - there's the bottom, behind the double solid doors!"  - as much as it felt like an "oh no" groaner, it also felt - maybe? - led??? - nah, c'mon, c'mon!  I'm overworked, overstressed, overtired - oh, what's THIS?!

And so I found where some books had been stashed actually over a year ago (the stashing is another story, for another time) :  The Imitation of Christ (Thomas A Kempis) and The Imitation of Mary!!!

It was the latter I took to my table and began to (re) read ... and presently I came upon this sentence:

You can regain the grace of adoption which you threw away, for there is a second baptism:  the baptism of penance.

What immediately came to my mind, was this:  My father has died.  I'm making all the arrangements, running around like the proverbial headless chicken.  My daughter has completely fallen apart (niiiice, right?), so I'm trying to take care of her, too.  And - there's one more thing --

My father, of course, is going to be buried in a Catholic Mass.  Well, um -- in order for me to be able to receive Communion at said Mass, I need to go to Confession first.  

Except I'm time-crunched and overwhelmed and deadlined, and what this means is - oh Gaaad.  I'm going to have to do a face to face penance with a priest.  

I have a strong dislike for f2f.  Give me a dark booth and my knees complaining and the whisper of the window gate opening, any day!!!

I had no choice - not if I wanted to receive.

The Father was very gracious about it!  He literally offered me a choice of rooms in the rectory, a choice of seats - if I remember correctly, I could have even had a smoking cigarettes the two of us sinners, option!  In the end, I went with the dining room table and the doors closed and locked and signs on them.

And then came the really hard part:  I had to look this guy in the face (when I hesitated and hemed and hawed, he gently moved himself so it wasn't so head-on) and tell him what grave sin I had committed.

The Father was an amazing and gracious, God-filled, man +

I bring all of this back up for one reason:  okay, maybe two.  Sure, I'm overdue to go!  I think the larger intent, tho, is this one:  I was overwhelmed, overburdened, overgrieved - BUT I WAS NOT GOING TO GO WITHOUT A SACRAMENT, NO MATTER HOW HARD THAT WAS GOING TO BE ON ME!!!  Lessons remembered on this "it's still raining out?!" morning:

That was hard, but I did it.  A 'sober memory', as they call it - a 'hard memory'.  Hey, if I did that, mebbe I can do other hard things - like packing in this short timeframe ....

I wasn't missing out on something Sacred and Holy I needed in my life!  Lesson learned - won't the end of all of this rigermole be the holiness of going back home, after all???  

Yes, that cabinet drew me in, and I, Jeannee, thank the God of my understanding, for it +   JMJ 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the lovely words Jeannee! Join me and we can be farmer for a day. :P xx