Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will I Get a Lump of Coal, Otherwise?

So last night I dreamed about standing in line to go to confession. Literally, just standing in line to go to confession. The thing about it that was weird was that it was in this Eastern Orthodox church and I knew this (I guess) because the church looked a lot like St. Mark's in Venice and also because the priest had on a black cassock and some serious headgear. All I can really remember about the dream was that I kept thinking that I needed to remember to tell him that I was from the Latin Rite and make sure it didn't make a difference.

There is typically a pretty strong emphasis on penance during Lent, but I have been thinking about something Fr. Stephen said in his homily on Sunday and I think there should be more at Advent as well. I know we have penance services here, but I think that's more because they have them twice a year. Anyway, I tend to be one of those people who puts a lot of mental stock into the beginning and end of things. For example, I would never start a diet or an exercise regimen or anything on say, a Wednesday. I would start on a Monday or the first of a month or on my birthday or something. So it seems to make sense to me that maybe we should ready our souls for the symbolic coming of Christ as a testament to our overall readying for his ultimate coming. Besides, having sins on my soul, as I have learned, makes me tired, or cranky, or just generally unhappy, and I can see that going to confession at the beginning of Advent might make the whole stress of the secular Christmas holiday a bit easier to deal with. But confession, the ability to be reconciled and wiped clean, is one of the greatest gifts we have been given as Catholics, and what better time to celebrate this than this season of giving?

So maybe my subconcious was telling me something. I guess I better find out when those penance services are....