Friday, December 17, 2010

Category #1 Faith & Franciscans

The third part of my Rule of Life is "Penitence".  Anglicans generally say about "Confession" that all may, some should but none must.  It has been said in the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis in the Province of the Americas, that all must, at least once a year.  More recent examination of the Rule is that once a year is recommended.  A bit different from MUST.  Anyway, I equate Confession (or Reconciliation, as some prefer to call it these days) with peace.  This is a time when a penitent (someone who recognizes the "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves") can go to see a priest, or other trustworthy person, and tell all. With a Rule of Life, it's not such a general topic as "all" because the Franciscan life is in the 9 categories of one's Rule.  So, with my little iPhone in hand, with my Rule headings on the "Messages" page, with notations beside the ones needing attention, I went to confession at Christ Church Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon.  I missed having the beautiful little confessionals of St. James, but the priest (just ordained last Sunday) and I sat opposite each other in the children's room.  We said the opening prayers of the short reconciliation service in the Book of Alternative Services, and I went through my list, complete with rants where they cropped up.  The priest listened and nodded, and finally made his observations.  Then he pronounced absolution and we said the closing prayers.  And I erased the page of messages from my iPhone.  Whew!  It feels so good!  If you have never tried it, I recommend it.  You don't have to (none must) but maybe you'll find it comforting if you have grudges or pebbles in your shoes regarding your religious life or other issues.  Peace!

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