Today's post is brought to you buy the letter P.
This afternoon my friend and I went to see Puss in Boots. There's one scene in which Puss in Boots and Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk were in prison. I thought about how St. Paul was in prison and wrote letters. We are reading The Acts of the Apostles in Bible study, and it must be sinking in. We both enjoyed the action packed movie, which was funny.
When the movie was over, I picked up my dad so we could go to confession and 5:00 pm Mass. When we arrived there was only one guy in line, but we still had to wait a bit while Father G. wrapped up a nuptial mass. You know, I have never gone to confession behind a screen or in a little dark box. I have always gone face-to-face. Outside the reconciliation room, there is a pocket with sheets of Guide to Confession for those who of us who . . . um . . . don't frequent this sacrament as much as we should. It's good if you're nervous too, or you grew up post-Vatican II and never had to memorize The Act of Contrition. Shameful, I know.
So I confessed my sin, which was weighing heavily on me. The priest said, "Well, sometimes things happen, but you can't keep beating yourself up about it." I almost cried. Anyway, he gave me absolution and assigned my penance. When I walked out of the reconciliation room, my dad said, "You're done so quick." Well, my sin seemed SO BIG and HEAVY to me that I couldn't think of any others.
So my dad took his turn in the recon room then we went into the sanctuary to pray and wait for Mass to begin, And I had to do my penance. (And I thought I got off really light with my penance.) Well, when we got into the sanctuary, I got very angry and thought I was going to have to turn right around and go back into confession.
You see, the bridal party and all their hanger-ons were taking pictures and talking very loudly. Children were running amok. The photographer had such a big set up with umbrellas and thick electrical cords and lights in front of the altar. The bride was yelling at people across the church telling them they had to be in this picture and that picture.
I wanted some peace and quiet, so I could PRAY. Usually, after confession I am in a very joyful peaceful, prayerful state. I usually feel closer to God. Instead I was upset with this yelling, running around, chattering, lights, camera, and action. The Tabernacle was obstructed. I was trying to guide my dad (suffering from low-vision), so he wouldn't trip over any cords. Then my thoughts ran to how unoriginal the bridal gown was and the ugly colors of the bridesmaid dresses.
I almost yelled, "QUIET! There are people trying to pray here." More people were coming in for 5:00 Mass, and one lady had her rosary out. Apparently some people like to have some quiet prayer time before Mass starts.
I wondered if I was wrong to expect a quiet church, so I could say my Our Father's and Hail Mary's. I mean if there had to be talking, couldn't they speak quietly in their indoor voices? The sacrament of Holy Matrimony looked like an overblown pageant in a casino at this point. So I was feeling very unkind.
Finally, a parish lady shooed out the bride and her merry revelers and eventually Mass started. I thought it was ironic that the first reading was the Proverbs 31 wife.
During the homily Father G. spoke out about the evil that was allowed to happen at Penn State. He told us as Christians we must speak out against evil even if we are afraid, become unpopular, or at risk. I am glad Father G. spoke out about Penn State because I have been mad about it all week. Of course, Father G. spoke about Penn State for about 4 minutes and spent 20 minutes on other Gospel-y topics.
As Mass went on, I finally felt Peace and Grace settle over me like a warm cloak - all warm and cozy with God.
|Imagine the peace of being out in the countryside on a starry, starry night.|