Saturday, April 26, 2014


OK, Facebook friends, I won't stop blogging.

I failed to fulfill my Lenten promise of a blog a day by a long shot but I fell down dead in Holy Week.

It felt like an Unholy Week to me.

It started, really, on Palm Sunday, when I didn't go to Mass, but it became foul the next day when my church held a day of reconciliation in the afternoon and evening.

I didn't go.  I got "busy" or I couldn't ignore the brick in my chest or the fear of telling my darkest shames in my stomach.  I decided there would be confession another day that week.

Of course there was not.

And my soul felt -- feels -- grimy.  There are things I have done I have to admit I hate myself for.  But the worst sin, the one that makes amends impossible, is my hopelessness.  If I did everything right -- pay off my debts, save money, get another book contract, lose weight -- so what?  I do not anticipate anything.  I don't often feel I have present tense friends.  I don't believe in heaven and I've mostly lived in hell.  Sometimes this is despair but mostly it's an absence of desire or faith in the future. 

Given that, why do I care about the few reparations I owe? 

That was with me as Holy Week progressed without me.  I couldn't take Communion in that state and if I can't take Communion, I'm not in step with the Church, not part of it, not even betraying it.

It's a week later and I am simply tired.  My nutrition has been miserable and I think I tried so hard to jolly myself along in the last couple of months that I exhausted myself.  Right now it seems I am better off in My Other Life, where we are on a numbers quest that I am the only one who can do the footwork to achieve.

Is this true?  Yes and no.

I forget that I've been having some fun tracking down my childhood in starting a Pinterest site for myself.  That I was able to listen to a friend who has a worry and have tried, at least, to distract her with tour books for Venice and Florence and a possible joint trip.  And someone called me today simply to witness me saying out loud that I don't know what is wrong with me right now.  Simply saying it out loud to that particular person lifted the cloud enough to brush my teeth and walk Daisy to the bank.  We even dropped a handful of Henry James novel on a stoop (I can download James on my Kindle: serious space made in my bookcases) and was amused to see that someone had spread them all out and was photographing them as we returned from our little outing.  Was it the irony of The Golden Bowl, What Masie Knew, The Americans, The Bostonians in this neighborhood that looks like pure Henry James?  What made them photo-worthy?

So there are two parts of me, one of tiredness and need (I need to be writing; I need to be getting healthier) and OKness, presence and upliftable-ness. 

I'm sure this is everyone's quandary, to some extent or with other polarities, so I'm putting it out there as part of the general human condition. 

But I desperately need some time in the confessional and on my knees.


Hilary said...

Happy to see you back. Loved that you gave away the Henry James novels. Everything seems to be photo-worthy these days.

Confession isn't a popular place anymore. My church even puts signs in the Washington Metro train advertising it. The priests are suffering from loneliness! I can't bear the thought of Confession but I like talking directly to God. I like cutting out the middleman!

Thank you, once again, for reminding me about the Rosary. Thank you for your wonderful writing.

Vickie said...

A friend's oldest son is in second year of seminary (after getting his BA). She comes from a very large family. Devote family. She said she did not have a regular confession habit until son joined seminary and she was asked to coordinate Eucharistic ministers for 9am mass. We are a huge parish. She said with both those factors, son/coordinate, she now goes to 3pm confession each Saturday and then drives to another close parish with an adoration chapel and prays for 30 minutes (on her knees because it is adoration). She said she started out of a bit of guilt, failure feeling. And now it is a devote practice because of how it makes her feel. Big difference in her life.

Nan said...

I prefer the phrase "Conscience Catholic" myself.

Vickie said...

Just realized auto correct got me.