This is in follow-up to my last post.
I went back to SS. Cyril and Methodius tonight at 8 pm, to try again to go to Confession. There were about 12 people already there, scattered around the room. I was difficult to keep track of who was next. Over time, new people would come in. One woman asked if she could go ahead of everyone, since she had a small child. Another older woman just cut in line. The man sitting next to me looked over and said, “Don’t worry, we will get in there eventually!” and we had a short conversation about this. I tried to be patient, but in my head, I pictured myself jumping up and down shouting, “Me! Me!” Obviously, I really *needed* to go to Confession. I spent my time reviewing what I was going to say. Not to make it sound better, but to try to be as accurate as I could and minimize the rationalization and contextualization that I often try to stick in there to make it sound as if I really wasn’t as bad as I was.
When I got in, my confession was kind of like a series of bullet points. I committed sin X, Y, Z…. Bare and hanging out there, with no justification for why I committed them. The priest stops me for a minute to ask a question, then says this:
“You are a young person, you could be such a blessing to others…. But you need to make a routine, or you will never go anywhere in your spiritual life.”
I hadn’t said anything yet about feeling like I have been slacking off in my prayer life, or feeling disconnected from God this week, but here he is! Speaking about that very thing! You need no further proof to know that when you confess, you are confessing to Christ himself working through that priest! And that is so true. I really do need a routine in my life when it comes to spiritual matters. I am so haphazard about it and that bothers me.
After confession, I went back to St. Anastasia and spent some time with the Lord in the chapel. I took the Bible off the shelf and sat there for a moment, thinking of where I should start reading. It popped in my head to start reading in Hosea. So, I opened to Hosea and started reading at the first page I came to:
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the more they went from me;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
I took them up in my arms;
but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of compassion,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one,
who raises an infant to his cheeks,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
How can I give you up, O Ephraim!
How can I hand you over, O Israel!
How can I make you like Admah!
How can I treat you like Zeboiim!
My heart recoils within me,
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my fierce anger,
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come to destroy. — Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9
Basking in God’s love and God’s forgiveness, I knelt down to pray. A minute later, I felt a warm glow on my face and opened my eyes. The light from overhead was reflecting from the gold of the cover of the Bible.
God’s Word was shining on me.
Such a lovely way to end the evening.