Saturday, August 18, 2012

Act of Contrition

I finally memorized it, but do I really “fear the loss of heaven & pains of hell”? Am I really concerned with having offended God by my sins? Do I really detest them? And if so, just how firmly am I resolving to let God's grace help me “confess my sins, do penance & amend my life”?

The reason I go to confession is not because I fear hell or the loss of heaven. I would have to say I dislike my sins greatly, but I hardly feel I've gotten to the point of absolutely detesting them. The reason I go to confession is because of the Eucharist. I want to be able to partake with everyone else at Mass. Why? So I don't stick out as I hang back in the pew? No. I want to partake because something within me craves it... Or perhaps I should say “Him”. A quarter sized wafer & a sip of wine... How can that satisfy the soul? And yet, the desire for just a “foretaste” seems insatiable... Peter wanted a whole bath, but Jesus needed only to wash his feet. Some days, I wouldn't mind a whole pack of wafers (with a little salt added) & a whole glass of wine, but I only need one bite, one sip... just one touch of the hem of His garment. Just as Jesus humbled Himself & took the form of a servant that night, so He humbles Himself under the Eucharistic appearance of bread & wine. He serves my soul true food & true drink so I am truly fed.

Or so they say. My senses still take issue with this logic. The Eucharist isn't exactly refreshing or satisfying & the initial “wowee- zowie” feeling I had the first few months has indeed faded. Does that mean transubstantiation is just a fairy tale, something they tell us to keep us coming back? My Protestant friends seem to think so. But I've been told when feelings fade, what's left is faith. That doesn't mean my feelings weren't real, but it also doesn't mean they were the sure fire indicator of Jesus' presence in the Eucharist. I've never gone just to feel the “Zing of the King”, but it was nice while it lasted. I crave something I can't exactly put my finger on... something I can't exactly describe. Something about me changes when I partake... but I can't exactly say what or how or where it occurs. Maybe it has something to do with looking the Priest or Eucharistic Minister in the eye & saying “Amen” to the Body & Blood of Christ... I'm saying “Yes” to Christ as much as I'm saying “Amen” to them... The wafer & wine becomes a point of rededication, affirmation & resolve. Its my own fiat to God, like Mary, Who gave her entire being to carry Jesus into the world... And maybe its in that very moment I'm actually, truly able to act out my contrition...

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