Week of November 17-23
Elisabeth Meadows, OSB, Sacred Heart Monastery, Cullman, AL
From Confusion to Confession
Tonight I was reading a pdf document on the computer that was shrunk down to a miniscule font. Being too lazy to right-size the text with the cursor, I just squinted and read on. When I got to the part of the document about the Prayer of Confusion I was, well, confused.
What in world is the Prayer of Confusion, I thought. I mean, I’m reasonably well-versed liturgically, but I’ve never heard of that! Squinting even further I saw what it really said: Prayer of Confession. Oh.
I chuckled to myself over the mistake, but as I thought about it I realized there is hardly a more appropriate malapropism than accidently substituting confusion for confession.
Truly, I am confused most of the time. I’m even confused in my confession, not always fully aware of my own mistakes or the condition of my own heart. I stumble through confession as I stumble through life, not always knowing the true state of affairs.
Indeed, I - and dare I say "we" - see through a glass darkly, confused about the extent of our infirmity, or too afraid or too spiritually sluggish to open our hearts to the illuminating light of Christ. We just squint, and walk on in the darkness.
A good Examen can go a long way toward leading us out of confusion, out of darkness. Before Compline tonight, our Prioress called our attention to the Holy Father’s remarks of earlier today as reported by the Vatican Information Service. She suggested that they would constitute a good Examination of Conscience for each of us and challenged us to take his words to prayer in these final days leading toward the Nativity of the Lord.
As I do so, I pray that I can cease any spiritual squinting, that I can open my eyes and see the way from confusion to genuine confession, and thus to true reconciliation.
May the Light of Christ, shining in the darkness, illuminate our hearts and minds.
Sister Elisabeth Meadows is a Benedictine Sister at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, AL. She directs the community's retreat center, serves in several other roles within the community, and finds great joy in the 'everyday' of monastic life and in the great gift of sharing life with her sisters in monastic community.