Monday, December 15, 2014

Forgiveness: Wonder Struck

The challenge for day 6 is to forgive yourself. It is obvious Margaret Feinberg is not Catholic. She suggests writing down all the things I find difficult to forgive myself. Give each to God, then rip the paper up to keep no record of wrongs. This is a fine practice, but it doesn't go far enough.

The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation is most effective. The priest acts in the place of Christ, so I can be assured as I confess my sins the vertical relationship between me and God will be set right. Some of the sins I find hard to forgive of myself involve others. This is where Ms. Feinberg's  method falls short. In Confession, however, the priest represents those others and can restore the horizontal relationship that perhaps had been broken years ago with people I am not likely to see again to ask forgiveness from directly.

My usual practice when participating in Reconciliation is to prepare with an examination of conscience. I write down what I will confess. When I have been absolved, have done my penance, I come home with a clean soul to burn that paper in our small grill. And I thank God for the wonder of forgiveness!

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