Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Longest Confession Line Ever (And The Virtue Of Patience)

It wasn't that hard, really. I couldn't help but notice, though. That got me thinking. Firstly, this isn't the first time I've waited an hour, at least. I wonder what God is trying to say?

Secondly, I was acutely aware that there was no way I was leaving this line, unless the priest gave up and ran away. Even then, I can't guarantee I wouldn't pester him like I was the persistent widow. That's just how these things go. That's all you need to know about whether we believe all that sacramental stuff. Yes, man!

Thirdly, it helped me shake the dust off my mental feet regarding this Latin American Reformed guy who was arguing with me about the sacraments some weeks ago. I guess I was supposed to feel bad that mother Church teaches that attrition, or fear of the punishment of hell, is sufficient to obtain the grace of absolution. I just kept thinking, Dude, if I sat around worrying about whether I felt sorry enough, or the right kind of sorry, I would die of paralysis and terror. Let's just say that I would have to have reached a level of self-deception heretofore yet reached (thank God) to say that my sins are not sins, or that I desire steadfastly to remain in them. Make of that what you will. He apparently missed the incongruity of claiming that the sacramental ministrations of the Catholic Church are too easy to obtain and benefit from, whilst also claiming that the whole system is an unholy abrogation of the free grace of God in Christ! Pardon me while I enjoy this for a second.

Fourthly, I definitely had this song in my head. I blame Nicole DeMille, in case you are wondering. In other news, how adorable is KT Tunstall? I never actually liked that hit song of hers, about a black horse and a cherry tree, but I could get over it. [Maybe you should just marry a Scottish girl who plays the xylophone.--ed.] That's uncomfortably specific, no? I don't think God cares about that stuff. Whatever it means for immutable Perfection to laugh, I always picture God giggling at my plans, like those evangelical posters that make you feel bad for having plans and dreams. That all probably means I'm wrong about that.

Fifthly, once I got there, Fr. made sure to say--right as we were about to part--that God loves me, sin or no sin, and that He never stops. I think this makes people uncomfortable, because we really are practically as Pelagian as a good Baptist thinks we are, half the time. I actually don't think that an outbreak of "God Is Love" is the cause of all the wickedness in the world. I think our hearts are too small. It can be hard to grasp, for example, if "God" means, "my stern father" and "Love" means, "whatever I hope to find from that guy or girl who promises the world, that I don't really trust". I digress.

Stew on that, if you like.

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