Poetruesday: Eliot, confession, Mercy
Eliot was my brother’s favorite poet (with the exception perhaps of dylan… bob dylan). In any case, I came across an email he sent out every year which included Eliot’s Ash Wednesday. While it is not quite the right liturgical season for the poem, I’ve been thinking about it recently because of our parish’s advent mission with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The mission has been all about God’s Forgiveness, Mercy, Healing power. here is a stanza from Ash Wednesday particularly about repentance and renewal:
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
I read something of Job in the first few lines… these matters that with myself I too much discuss are much like Job’s things which he spoke of that are too great and marvelous for him to comprehend.
When it comes to confession, we can get caught up in our own anxiety, too scared to confess all of our mortal sins, or too fearful to address them full on in the confessional. Yet, why worry? we just bring our sins before the Lord, and he just absolves them away… gone, they are no more.
In this time of penitence and preparation, it is good to go to confession. I am in the parish office on Monday night, the last night of the mission, as the last few penitents are being reconciled to God. I will go myself, in just a few minutes. Last night Fr. Daniel described going to confession like going to the dentist… nobody wants to get his teeth drilled, but the end result is why we go.