I shared with my husband my penance. He looked very surprised when I told him that Father said I needed to go to the Triduum. He said in jest, "Wow, you must be a big sinner! The most I got was a couple Hail Marys." And then he hugged me and told me how great it was that his wife was a big sinner. If you know us, then you would be laughing right now. Humor is the main language we speak in our marriage. But he got me thinking.
I have been so convicted lately. My sin has been staggering. I have felt heavy and sad and unworthy and inadequate. I have been trying to figure out why this conviction has hit me so hard. Why am I struggling so much with my wretchedness? Why is it so illuminated? I haven't done anything horrible like murder or anything. But I just feel the conviction weighing on my soul.
Tonight, I prayed about it before mass started. As I was meditating on it, I felt the my world bear down on me and I just prayed, Jesus, what do I do. "Keep your eyes on Me" was his answer. And as I looked at him on the crucifix, and on the alter, and on the faces of my fellow parishioners, I felt peace and that heaviness was lifted for a moment.
Tonight was the night we celebrated Jesus' gift of the last supper. It was on this night, that he taught us about service and gave us the Eucharist. He washed the feet of his disciples. And in doing as he taught, we washed the feet of each other. It is easier to wash than to be washed. It is easier to wallow in self pity than it is to accept forgiveness. It is easier to hold on to what you know than it is to let go and let God.
After I received my Lord in the Eucharist, I again felt that heaviness. The conviction was illuminated so brightly that I couldn't see anything but it. Then I remembered that I was supposed to keep my eyes on him. That is when I realized why it was happening. When you walk so closely in his light, you see all of the naked truth. His light doesn't hide anything. That is why I felt so wretched. His light was shining on my imperfect humanity. When I took my eyes off my wretchedness and looked at him, he told me, "I did all of this for you. You are forgiven."
All I can say is wow. What a moment.