Bless me Father for I have sinned. Â It has been so long that I can’t even remember when I last went to confession and these are my sins.
Or at least the latest ones.
Or the ones I can remember. Â BTW are we responsible for the ones we can’t remember?
Oh Lordy. Â Well here goes.
I did not attend any Easter services this season. Â Not Holy Thursday. Â Not Good Friday. Â Not Easter Vigil.
Zero, zip, nada.
I did this intentionally so now you know why I’m here today.
Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.
I cleaned my house and did my Target, TJMaxx and Trader Joes shopping.Â I worked in my garden,Â fertilized all of my succulents and marveled atÂ the first spring flowers on my Cecile Brunner Rose.Â I cooked a bit and squeezed lemons to freeze for future Lebanese delicacies. Â I went toÂ dinner and a movie with a good friend.Â I finished a novel and started a new one. Â Took a morning hike and photographed several cows withÂ their calves.
For the grand finale, Easter, I shared a meal with my wonderful family, chased toddlers around the house and playedÂ with my little grandson.
For these and all my sins I am sorry.
Now, Father, I’m sure you want to know why this cradle CatholicÂ defied all of the rules.
My reasoning? Â I wanted to see what it was like to live in a secular world without the sacred. Â I wanted to see what it’s like to not believe, to not have my Catholic community, to not sing andÂ pray for my loved ones and the world at large. Â I wanted to see if God in nature was enough for me.
All in all it was a very spiritual experience. Â But here is what I discovered.
I realized that I missed the incense, the chanting, the candles and the ancient scripture. Â I missed the washing of the feet and the opportunity to meditate on service and being a woman for others. I missed the veneration of the cross and the church bells and the bowed heads. I missed the experience of humility that comes from believing in something that is beyond myself and out of my control. Â I missed the celebration and the lilies filling the sanctuary. Â I missed the Alleluia and the joy that comes after the sacrifices of Lent.
I missed the good old fashioned Catholic aerobics… standing for a half hour gospel and then springing up and down and up and down to the rhythm of the rituals and the liturgy.
I missed it all. Â And now I feel an indescribableÂ void.
So, Father, I guess you can take the girl out of the Catholic but you can’t take the Catholic out of the girl. Â I’m sure you have an appropriate penance for me? Â 10 Hail Marys and a Glory Be? Â 100 continuous genuflections? Â A Novena with my head covered?
You missed it, my dear. Â Penance done. Â Amen. Â Hallelujah.