I went to the Sacrament of Reconciliation this morning to beat the RUSH before Easter. Not too many people before me…actually only two were there sitting in the pew.
As I knelt down in prayer, I began to think about my New Year’s resolution of going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation every two weeks and how I had already “fallen” twice. Though I was only late by two weeks, I still felt guilty about this breach, afterall it was only March. Besides that resolution being broken, Lent has had its pitfalls, too, for me. (Giving up bread is no easy thing for an Italian Frenchwoman!)
It seems the more often I go to Reconconciliation, the more I see the little creepy things I do everyday that need tending. To think I thought going two or three times a year (which was what I practiced for more than a score of years) was being SAINTLY! It must be the GRACE of the Sacrament that has made me realize the treasure Jesus gave to all of us that blessed Easter Sunday night. (Also, it was Pope John Paul II who inspired me to go more often.)
This season of Lent, I promised to pray for others to “come back” to the Sacrament, especially my grown cafeteria Catholic kids. St. Monica is praying with me for this intention, too.
Back to today’s Reconciliation.
So, I went to the Sanctuary altar to say my penance in front of the Holy Tabernacle. The Crucifix was hanging over a purple cotton cloth above the Tabernacle. The mood was definitely Lent. I finished my penance but wanted to stay a bit longer. I sent prayers for the intentions of Pope Francis…I thought of my beautiful mother-in-law, Frances, and then again, all of my children and grandchildren…”Send myriads of angels around all of them, dear Lord.”
When getting ready to leave, I all of a sudden decided to take a picture of the crucifix…I love the camera on my new phone.
Then, almost without any real thought or premeditation, I took an awkward picture of myself while looking up at our Lord on the wooden crucifix. I looked at the oddly angled portrait and snickered inside. Thought I looked oldish…not much better than Dan Aykroyd did last week on SNL!
Being in front of the Tabernacle always makes me feel like a young girl. I guess we are all HIS little children no matter how old we get. But seeing this photo was a blast of senior reality.
Why did I take this picture in the first place…like I’d ever show it to anyone! Had this been a prompting of the Holy Spirit?
When I got home and during lunch I grabbed my phone and decided to show the pic I took of myself to my son, Joe, who was enjoying lunch with me.
“Why did you take a picture of yourself looking up… where were you?…what are you looking at?”
“I went to confession…I was looking up at our Lord on the crucifix”, I said now wearing a huge smile. “I look kind of…like, old…and look at my turkey neck…yikes!does it really look like this?”
I didn’t want Joe to respond to that observation, and he didn’t. He just smiled…a smile of perplexion and of admonition.
Then I said to Joe, “I might put it up on my Blog.”
Joe began laughing. “Seriously? And what will your caption say? “OH LOOK AT ME, I’M SO HOLY!” Seriously, you’d post that…why?…not that there is anything wrong with doing something like that but…why?” I just smiled at Joe and shrugged my shoulders.
Joe explained to me that it wasn’t that the picture was that corny or that taking it was THAT crazy…it was just wierd. He also told me that, “You can’t force someone to go to Confession…it’s a personal thing.”
We finished our lunch. And Joe was right. YOU CAN’T FORCE SOMEONE TO GO TO CONFESSION. But, I thought with a sudden epiphany in my soul, “Little nudges are good…little nudges are okay.”
While doing dishes I thought about the whole rather silly “photo session” a little more. I didn’t feel silly when I took the picture and the more I was thinking about it the more I knew what I had to do with the pic now titled, “Terry, the Holy”.
So, here it is. A little nudge in the form of a silly photo. It’s sole purpose is to be a little reminder, or a little NUDGE, inviting people to go back to Reconciliation, to go back to HIM with all their hearts.