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16 February 2011

Helpless

My blogging neighbor posted a tweet some time back about heading to confession despite the cold weather and being plagued by a head cold.  He concluded that he was helpless without the sacraments.

Yesterday, I engaged in an extended conversation with a friend about the stuff of which life is made: sin, redemption, forgiveness.  At this point, I too realized that I am helpless without the sacraments.  You see, this particular person has been gifted by God with one of the purest and deepest faiths I have ever known.  My friend, I must note, is not Catholic.  Forgive any failure on my part to grasp ecumenical sensibilities, but without the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I could only lead this person to a certain point in our conversation.  Eventually, a precipice was reached.  For me, forgiveness and redemption are most perfectly mediated through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  All the words, all the advice, all of the counsel that can be given all fall away and the only thing left to find, to accept, to receive (as pure gift) is absolution.

Perhaps this hearkens back to my previous comments upon pastoral care, but at some point, a person knowing themselves to be forgiven by God by the recitation of these words has a distinct, unique and efficacious bearing:

God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

While I'm sure a profession counselor -- or even someone with more experience than me -- could have led my friend into a catharsis of forgiveness, I was unable because I possess a sacramental view of the world.  And you know, I'm alright with that.


Neil Young Helpless w/ The Band
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a comment to your twitter
RE: giving blood and an excuse to have a donut. Sure have one, splurge alittle if you can, you deserve it. Giving blood is a wonderful gesture and you will be helping countless people you don't even know! Have a donut or two! Great job!!!