Sunday, March 09, 2008

Contrition

Lent has always been a difficult time for me. I have an idea of how Lent should go but I've never had a firm grasp of the rituals nor the discipline to pursue the rituals in seeking penance and forgiveness. This Lent, however, I resolved to do something that is, for me, very different. I have not given up anything. What I have actually done is try to develop a ritual of enriched reading and improving my prayer life. To that end, I've been reading A Treasury of Catholic Wisdom, For the Greater Glory of God, and of course, The Bible.

Three weeks into Lent, I am starting to gain some insight into recognizing and then facing habits and rationalization that lead to sin. Once these negative habits are acknowledged, it is surprising how quickly the solution can come to changing the habit from a negative behavior to a positive. I have no doubt that I would have gotten to this point eventually if for nothing else than my conscience would have started nagging me. However, I believe it is the books above that have provide a more clear path to change and hence, forgiveness.

I have also learned that even though we are very insignificant in the larger scheme of things, we are all truly unique and have a voice that God will hear. And more than that, we have ears that will hear His responses. We need only talk to him with an open heart and mind and spirit to hear what He has to say to us.

CONTRITION

Motes of dust on specks of sand
joined as shoreline of land
waiting at the water’s edge of God's mercy,
our gathering place.

Alone, I am, in this gathering place.
My sin my own, an offense not to be compared to any other's.
All insult of sin so great, a rejection of God's friendship,
infinite goodness and grace.

Feeling love for Him, how could I not love myself?
Neither is possible alone.
Loving patience, forgiving and infinite -
His only demand? Embrace good, reject evil.

White room, adorned in nothingness,
becomes my slate, my learning place, of recognition.
Sins un-recounted, forgiveness a plea. Accepting God's mercy,
we unwrap His gift of our uniqueness.

Mote on dust -
Dust on sand grain -
Grain in a sea of sand grains -
Alone but known
and, heard.

8 comments:

Beth said...

What a wonderful post, Annie. I so admire your convections and your faithfullness to God. It inspires me so much!!!
xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxox

Britt-Arnhild said...

Like you I have made Lent my extra praying time.

God bless you.

lila said...

Very moving post, it really touches my heart.
Lent is an opportunity for introspection and change. Like Garrrison Keillor, I'm thankful that it comes in spring, he says we would not be able to stand it in the autumn when everything is dying around us.

Mary Timme said...

Nice Annie,
A couple of weeks ago, on the phone, I had to deal with a man who wanted to know how not to sin. I told him much the same thing in that the God of all Universes lives in him and he has the power of all that to call upon to break his pattern of addiction. I hope he has done so. Loving ourselves as God loves us is such amazing power.

Willow said...

Thank you for visiting my doors post on my blog. It was fun to do.

I appreciated your thoughts on Lent.

Wanda said...

Oh dear Annie ~~ this is so beautiful, meaningful and powerful.
With your permission, I would like to copy it and put it with my workbook on the Spiritual Disciplines under "Sacrifice". I did a 2 year personal study on the Spiritual Disciplines, and add to my notebook when I find something new like this.
You are such a deep thinker and poet.

AnnieElf said...

I am honored Wanda. Yes, please add my poem to your workbook.

qualcosa di bello said...

humble & yet so full of love...your words have pared things down to the elemental truth