It is with a thankful heart that I can write that Lent has ended more profitably (spiritually speaking), than it began. I dare not say that i have ‘found my spiritual footing’ once again, for the propensity I have for stumbling is alarming.
However, what I can say is that this past Holy Week has seen my attempting to live more in accordance with the will of the Lord and less of the will of self. That in itself is quite something. For me.
And so it is.
At a point when my personal life has taken yet another nosedive (Wonderboy, need i say more?) amidst the strife of life I attended a Reconciliation evening a few days ago and was able to make a thorough and soul searching confession. Afterwards I really felt like the decks of my soul had been well and truly tubbed and scrubbed….if only temporarily.
When i became Catholic 6 years ago, it was discovered that i had not been baptised (naughty C of E led my parents to believe the ‘naming ceremony’ they gave was actually a baptism). After raking my soul for many months in preparation for my first confession, i was genuinely disappointed not to make my first confession prior to becoming Catholic.
Of course, I understood that baptism washed away all stain of sin….but there is more to sin than the act of sin. Some sins are deep rooted and we tend toward them in times of weakness. In not exposing said sins and laying them to rest, they have bit me big time on more occassions than i care to recount, since my conversion.
My attachment to previously committed offences against Our Lord, the memories, guilt, remorse, sorrow….all these feelings remained, long after i was baptised. Haunted me, no less.
Anyway, what i am getting at is that after 6 years of being Catholic, during my confession this week, i was finally able to unburden myself and lay my grievous offences at the feet of Our Lord.
The incredible thing was that my confession of these past sins was not in any way planned…it was as one of the priests the Reconciliation evening spoke about allowing the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, that these sins came foremost to my mind, catching me offguard somewhat….it was then up to me what i would do with them.
I could have pushed them away, made some excuse…but i knew that the time had come to confess as i had never before confessed…as i had never been led to confess previously, by the Holy Spirit (no doubt due to my fingers-in-ears method of examining my conscience, I had not ‘heard’ Him).
Perhaps it was because i was at my most vulnerable, i don’t know….i only know that I knew i had to do it and I really felt as though there was nothing left to lose…I had recognised myself for the snivelling mess of human being that i am and if God still loved me, (knowing everything about me) pitiable as i am, then i must confess to Him without restraint.
Before i knew it, i was making the most soul searching confession of my life…guilt, shame, fear and embarrassment had kept me from confessing grave pre-conversion sins…but when they were finally confessed I wondered why i had been so knuckleheaded as to carry around the weighty burden of these unconfessed sins for so many years.
Since having made my confession and having received strong spiritual direction from the good and holy priest whom God saw fit for me to make my confession to this week, I have participated in the Sacred Triduum as thoroughly as it was possible for me to do.
My enthusiasm will no doubt wain once more, but my God and my church give me hope, refuge, the grace/life giving Sacraments and a regular pattern of prayer (in the Mass and the prayers of the church etc) and it is my wish that it may continue a while longer yet.
As i said when I began, i dare not claim to see any light at the end of the tunnel…because i have not reached the tunnels end just yet…it’s still rather dark and gloomy around here, but I have the hope that I may just be starting to move in the right direction, if only for a little while.
I prayed for you all each day this week, and I very much hope you all have a much blessed Easter.