It’s been eight weeks of being a real, communion-receiving, confession-going Catholic. I still feel strange saying stuff like, “I’m a Roman Catholic.” But I asked, and did indeed receive.
Classes are over, with convocation a little more than a week away. I’m working full time now.
Where are things going from here? I’m still not sure, and it’s easy to call to mind the aimlessness that nearly derailed me after high school. But I’ve got the Church now; I’ve got accountability in my life. Speaking of which,
If you, like me, have wasted much of your youth with a controller in hand, there is a good chance that you have already received some amusement from this erudite philosophical conversation:
Now, Dracula’s petulant-teenager definition of Man does have an element of truth in it; so much of our ability to sanely live with each other depends on secrets, on all the fig leaves thrown on ourselves. The fact that I am bearable at all is because my thoughts are my thoughts and don’t radiate out to the people around me, because there are always aspects of myself that are obscured from your sight. There’s the fear that at the end of the day, what we are underneath all the masks is just a festering mess. This is the way things are, and it’s kind of messed up.
Which is one of the reasons why the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is amazing. It’s a lifeline out of this crap. There is the wonder of freedom in it: no evil will devour us from the inside unless we want it to. Nothing we have ever done has to hold us back unless we’re still holding onto it. We don’t have to be a miserable pile of secrets.
And the whole movement of the sacrament, the marriage of justice and mercy, is shockingly poetic and dramatic, like something at the climax of one of Shakespeare’s late romances: the man, recognizing the severity of his crimes, willingly accuses himself before the tribunal. And the judge gives him a pardon.
I recall the titular character from The Man Who Was Thursday saying something to the effect that he didn’t want to leave the world with anything in it that he was afraid of. That ought to include our souls. “Si fuerint peccata vestra ut coccinum quasi nix dealbabantur”
(…See? There’s some Latin in this blog after all)