I Am a Sinful Woman

All who have embarked on true contrition and penance for the sins they have committed, and are firmly resolved not to [repeat those sins] in the future, but to persevere constantly in that pursuit of virtues which they have now begun, all these become sharers in this holy and eternal sacrifice.
– from a commentary on the psalms by St. John Fisher, Bishop and Martyr

Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

Lent was going so well -or at least I thought it was. I had been finding such silence, such peace, such (I thought) charity and fellowship and largeness of heart toward humanity in my sense of “holy detachment!”

I should have known better.

I don’t know if I’d succumbed to a feeling of pride,
thinking that I had crossed some vast spiritual plain and gained in all-wisdom. I hope I did not. I think I did not. But I will allow that perhaps I had begun to feel like I was advancing – that I was making real strides in prayer and contemplation; that my mind was expanding and growing, and tralala, wasn’t Lizzie the very thing, then?

And then, as I have all my life, I allowed my passions to overwhelm me; I allowed my anger to rule me, and for more than a moment.

I understand pretty well how illusory are all the ways of power and victory and the comings and goings of a day, and yet I got all caught up in it. And in being caught up, I went too far for my own comfort, and my conscience has been unsettled, ever since.

I’d like to believe my conscience would be pricked, no matter what, but the prickling was certainly helped along by the fact that, since reading this book, I have been trying to incorporate the Jesuit practice of Examen in my nightly prayer:

It is a means of inviting God, thanking God with savor, identifying your failings, asking forgiveness and finally making a conscious resolution with the help of His grace. It is, literally, bringing everything to God, every day, and picking through it all, to make sure nothing valuable is lost.

So, in my Examen, I brought this anger and frustration into my prayer. I said to the Lord:

“I’m sorry…I basically vomited on my keyboard and called it a post. In doing so, I opened myself up in a way that allowed nothing good in. In my excesses, I gave scandal to Your Holy Name and brought discredit to my own argument. More importantly, I allowed my passion to come between me and you.”

I think my anger at Nancy Pelosi’s using a Saint as a political prop was quite legitimate, and in fact I am still angry and offended by it. I am still disgusted by what I referred to (and still believe is) Pelosi’s “upside-down thinking.” But I over-vented. And I kind of knew I was over venting, as I acknowledged at the time:

I am mindful of the fact that I too am a Catholic who -in my own way- can and do bring scandal to others. I understand that in my rage right now, I am probably “scandalizing” someone who thinks I should be “more tolerant of an opposing view” so I don’t particularly believe I am called to inventory the soul of another.

My anger got the best of me,. I had too much fun writing dis-edifying words that can always be applied to my own self. Pelosi is a grotesque. But I am too. She is a glammed-up guttersnipe. But I’m also a guttersnipe, and not even a glammed-up one. Pelosi is pathetic. So am I. She deserves my sympathy and my compassion and my prayer.

I hope I can have yours.

So, here I am, again, back at the beginning.
As Anthony Bloom reminds us in his wonderful book, Beginning to Pray we are all beginners. We are all still learning. Some of us -suffering from thickness and sickness- need to learn them over and over again.

And as the equally wonderful Fr. Simon Tugwell taught us yesterday:

What we experience as an appetite for sin is a sick appetite which has mistaken its object. In moments of despondency we may perhaps look around and think that we should be much happier if we gave up trying to be good, if we could enjoy all the vices of the world around us. But that is only a fantasy. The desire for goodness is really a much more robust desire than any alleged desire for evil. . . We must be content to grow slowly toward goodness, taking, if need be, a long to time convalesce. Most of us, maybe, will still be barely at the beginning of our recovery even when we die. But that is better than killing ourselves pretending to be healthy. . .

I want to be good. I am, still, too often and after all this time later, a bad, bad, Lizzie.

And of course, Jesus has been gently correcting me, too. At mass today, reading John 8, he leaned over and said to me, “. . . I do not judge anyone. And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid because I am not alone, but it is I and the Father who sent me.”

And I said. “I know. I’m sorry. I don’t want to judge, either. I want to be more like you, and less like me.”

And Jesus said, “yeah, work on that, why don’t you? There’s grace in Confession, you know.”

Earlier today a reader wrote asking my opinion as to whether she should go to confession over her feelings toward Pelosi and the whole congress. I wrote:

Yes. Go to confession. I am going to confession, too, for that piece I wrote on Pelosi.

We may well be justified in our feelings, but our giving into our anger and disgust is separating us from the peace of Christ. And when that happens, when we are separate from him, we are open to anything.

As I wrote a while back,

I’ve heard Catholics and non-Catholics talk about “Catholic guilt” and I’ve never understood it. I understand a Catholic conscience, which is one that is aware enough to be bothered by wrongdoing and by sin and wishes to be delivered of it, but I’m not sure what Catholic “guilt” is, because my own experience with Confession is that it expiates guilt.

So, I’ll be hitting the confessional after mass tomorrow morning. Once again, I will sigh and give that look to Fr. Dyspeptic and say, “I’m failing in love. Again.” And I’ll spill it all.

And when I step out of the confessional, I will be freed of this burden I’ve been carrying. And as Chesterton said, I will be “five minutes old” and in a state of grace.

Until my next inevitable failure to love; my next fall.

We’re heading into Palm Sunday and then Holy Week, and I think for the next 14 days I’m going to sit on Bad Lizzie (and that’s a serious threat) and her political obsessions, and keep the focus on Christ, and on matters of the spirit, as much as possible.

Unless, you know, Washington just gets all up in my face and I have to smack back a little. . . but with restraint.

But I’ll try to remember to guard my soul over any poll.

Really, I should never have allowed myself to get lost in all the political dreck and dross. I know that there is nothing to be afraid of, after all.

And here is a slightly different perspective, but along the same lines.

And the struggles are ongoing (H/T)

Related:
March 1st to Confession

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • JD Long

    If you have not read the book “The Shack” by William Young, you really should. Short read (a day or three) but it has done WONDERS with my prayer and Loving of others.

    And only about $ bucks. Try Amazon.

    ~~JD~~

  • Will

    “And when I step out of the confessional, I will be freed of this burden I’ve been carrying. And as Chesterton said, I will be “five minutes old” and in a state of grace.”

    One of the most important parts is to remember these words and actually accept that the burden has been lifted.

    IMHO anyway.

  • http://onachickenwingandaprayer.blogspot.com Kate

    Oh Anchoress…I love you and your blog! I’m not Catholic but as a fellow Christian, I relate to your topics. Nancy Pelosi is a botoxed-up, power hungry cretin! But hey…so am I! I continue to be stunned and grateful for the application of His grace to my life I even love you for mentioning Thomas Cahill. Let’s both accept the love and forgiveness so freely given and enjoy being made into new creatures. Thanks for the post.

  • tnxplant

    Our pastor recently spoke on the passage from Ephesians 4 about anger, and one thing he said really stayed with me. He said it’s OK to have anger for righteous reasons, but we are not to cherish our anger.

  • Jeff

    I think your post was a product of righteous anger, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about it. Remember how angry Jesus got at times. I’ve had people yell at me and at times realized later that it was necessary and ultimately motivated by love.

    Admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy and Pelosi richly deserved it. I wonder if our “devout” speaker of the house spends any time trying to conform her behavior to Catholic teaching, as you obviously do. I fear that she is devout only in remaking Jesus and the Church in her own San Francisco liberal image.

  • Stefanie

    Oh, dear Elizabeth, I know just how you feel. Mrs. Pelosi has been a thorn in my hide, no doubt. I have said very hateful things about her — and I’m not so sure I meant my words to be idle ones rather than active ones!
    And I realized that what I was saying about her was dragging me down into the darkness (where I would have good company, no doubt!) and as a child of light I had no business being there.
    So, for Lent, I gave up grumbling about people — about her, about my co-workers, about my siblings, about the msm.
    And “I” have been doing great guns at it, let me tell you.
    So then I felt I was safe to confess this to my confessor, because I felt I had conquered it once and for all.
    Imagine my surprise, when my confessor gently pointed out to me that I had forgotten to ask God to help me to stop the grumbling. I was acting as though it was all up to my own will to do it — and if that was the case, why did I need to confess it to God since I already had ‘taken care of it’ all my myself, hence, not really needing God’s help. (sigh!)
    Felt very chastized, and also very freed.
    God has not allowed me to slip up — even through the weekend swirl. I read everything I could get my hands on until I was nearly blind from all the analysis. But in the end, said nothing to anyone, and am doubling up my efforts at Divine Office and LOTH.
    Continued blessings to you.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I allowed my passions to overwhelm me; I allowed my anger to rule me

    Well, your passions and anger controlling you, rather than you controlling them is never good.

    Nevertheless, that does not mean that this has not been a rightful occasion for passionate anger — even this close to Holy Week. It is not a coincidence that when Jesus busted up the marketplace by the Temple, it was just before Passover. And, remember that, before the first Passover, God busted up Egypt pretty good too.

    Giving into wrongful and unjust anger and disgust is wrong, but taking exception to injustice is not. The degree to which you did more of one than the other, I leave to you and your conscience, but the anger per se does not necessarily lead you away from Him.

    Indeed, the lack of anger is what might lead one away from Him to the extent that it is a denial or ignoring of truth and justice. That is, truth and authentic charity may demand a certain level of anger — anger which is not anger for anger’s sake, but anger as beatitude, a hunger and thirst for righteousness, anger as a soldier for Christ doing battle for good as part of the Church Militant.

    The trick is temper that justified anger with the spiritual works of mercy of admonishing sinners and instructing the ignorant, to make that anger be an act of good for good.

  • mary’s hopefull

    I love you and thank you! Your honesty in your post of anger, and your confession and sorrow in your following posts touch me, and remind me of the way out of my blowing it, again, also…
    Joy! for our Lord’s ways and His mercies!

  • http://catsofruatha.blogspot.com/ jwm

    As one of my favorite people once told me: WWJD?

    Sometimes braid a cord into knots and beat the SOB’s right out of the temple.

    JWM

  • Peter Brown

    Beautiful post, in a vein too rare in the blogosphere.

    One quick nit-pick, though; your next fall isn’t really inevitable, it’s just overwhelmingly likely. We’re given sufficient grace not to sin. We just sin anyway.

    Which makes God’s repeated, patient mercy the more amazing, at least to me.

    Peace,
    –Peter

  • cathyf

    I love the Jerusalem Bible version of Ephesians 4:26-27 that appears in Compline in the universalis translation:

    Be angry if you must, but do not sin: do not let your anger outlast the sunset: do not give the Devil his chance.

    Yes, sometimes you must be angry, but we all know the difference between sinning and not.

  • Elaine S.

    I also went to confession last night, yet am still struggling with despair and anger today, seeing all the blog posts dripping not only with recrimination toward Pelosi, Stupak, et al, but toward other Catholics (bishops, CHA, nuns, etc.); toward all Democrats (even those that did stand fast and vote against the healthcare plan); toward the GOP for not having a better strategy; and toward liberals as a “cancer” on society that must be excised at all costs.

    I even read one blog post today that advocated (seriously) conservatives ending ALL relationships — social, business, friendship, and otherwise — with liberals, showing them no courtesy or charity whatsoever, and treating them with the contempt they “deserve” for being traitors and baby-killers, as this is the only way to get them to think about their actions.

    I even — God help me — find myself reacting with contempt toward my husband for daring to talk about frivolous matters like computer games, food, or gardening when I spend all my waking moments glued to another computer agonizing over the fate of the nation and the church — how DARE he even think about something fun at a time like this! — stewing over the fact that for the first time in years, we actually owe income tax (no refund), and wondering if I ought to take the risk of refusing to pay it.

    By golly, I could heroically defy the IRS and stand up for all those innocent babies if it weren’t for the fact that I have an unemployed husband and a kid depending on me for support, dagnabbit. Heck, I could even quit my evil, taxpayer-burdening government job and put my money where my mouth is when it comes to believing in smaller government if it weren’t for them.

    Now that I’ve actually written these thoughts down I see just how harsh and prideful they are, how neglectful of my real vocation, and I realize I need to unplug, decompress, and listen to the still small voice for a change. Thank you so much for your perspective.

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  • http://jscafenette.com Jeanette

    My husband and I got into a spat tonight and I was so angry I heard myself use the Lord’s Name in vain….a sin I haven’t committed in years before this.

    You talk about Catholic guilt, but Baptist guilt is just as bad. I immediately confessed my sin to my Lord Who had done nothing to me to make me angry, cried and was forgiven, but somehow I can’t forgive myself.

    [Ah, well, not being able to forgive yourself, Jeanette, is just Pride. It's the evil one's way of getting in the way between you and Christ. You gotta let God be God -he does the forgiving- and let Jeanette be Jeanette; she submits to being forgiven and does not tell God, "Maybe YOU can forgive me, but "I" am so scrupulous that "I" am not going to forgive me! Who do you think are you, the boss of me?" It's sort of like when a Catholic tells me that they can NEVER chew the Eucharistic Host, even though the Pope does it, and will just daintily allow the Host to dissolve in the mouth or stick to the roof of the palate. To which I always reply: "honey, the Lord said, "take and eat.." He didn't say "take and let slowly dissolve in your mouth and get stuck to your palate." We can only do our imperfect best, after all. We're not allowed to hold ourselves guilty after Christ has forgiven. Otherwise, where is the freedom? :-) -admin]

  • Gordon

    Anchoress,
    I dearly dreaded seeing anything you posted after the failure of our Congress to do the right thing. It is funny, or different, or just slightly confusing, when one is in deep prayer, trying to pray so hard that what one sees is coming, and does not want it to happen. Obamacare, and I admit I hate that word, is just a covering name for a whole lot of serious ills. And “ills” is a semisoft word to describe what I believe to be a horrible, evil, turn to the worst of what we humans can do. And as of today, we are doing it. Our Congress has spoken. Thank God we are Christians. Thank God we follow the Lord.
    Peace and God Bless.

  • newton

    Oh, Woman – And Jeanette, too:

    Well, I guess you’re not alone.

    I also made a couple of mistakes yesterday, since I have been so darned angry! I wanted to throw everything plus the kitchen sink at those *@&#^%$ Congress#^%$*!@, including that #$@%$% and that other #^$%%%*, when I made a huge mistake, which cost me a privilege which I will probably never recover. I wanted to apologize and tell my regrets, but there has been no appropriate avenue to get that message through, and probably there won’t be for a long time.

    So, the one thing that was left for me to do about this was to take it to God and tell Him how sorry I am for it. At this point, only God can forgive me now, because human beings can’t, really. We keep resentments and grudges too easily. I do, too.

    But I also want to keep things in perspective. I’m going to have an MRI of my neck in a few days. I’ve been more calmed about my little spine situation than before, and I have come to accept that surgery might well be my last hope to get my life back. I know that my time is now very limited, and that any course of treatment should be taken ASAP, before things turn for the worse and the medical technologies which can kill disk hernias become so taxed to death that only very few people will have access to it in the future.

    It is also important to manage or channel our anger towards other things. You know – don’t get mad, get it done!

  • Greta

    With what this administration and congress are doing to America, being silent would be the sin. When babies lives are being taken, to remain silent would be a sin just as when blacks were being beaten and lynched at the hands of this same democratic party. When FDR could not risk losing votes of southern democrats over the lynching of blacks as he had his agenda, we now see the same party not wishing to lose votes over the killing of infants and issuing lies and bribes.

    No, the greater sin by far would be to sit back and remain silent in the face of grave evil. For a person with your talent to not write about it with great passion and yes even anger is to not honor the talent you were given. We are now a country coming apart in much the same way we did over the evil of slavery, civil rights, vietnam war, and now abortion and loss of freedom to socialism. If we do not speak out, how will we end these evils. If not ended with strong words and legal actions, will they not end in violence? Speak out for if we are silent, the rocks themselves will scream out.

  • Lori

    Anchoress, don’t be too hard on yourself. I think if you thought you were making advances before the events of the last couple of days, that wasn’t necessarily an illusion on your part. Isn’t the spiritual life just like so much of the rest of life – a couple of steps forward, a couple of steps back? Don’t denigrate the good things you have done and said and thought and prayed and written, just because you had a “fall” (and I agree with those here who say righteous anger is called for at this time!).

    God bless you and keep you and yours in this holy season – from someone who doesn’t pray or fast nearly as much as she could and should!

  • Patricia Hansen

    I understand and agree with everything you said about anger and as a Christian I believe we are called to act and not necessarily to react. We must never allow others to set the agenda for who we are. However . . .
    In a time when politicians seem to be able to say and do anything they want to, when the press at best simply reports exactly what they say and at worst looks at them adoringly and adds spin to their lies it is a relief to know that someone else out there gets it and has a forum to say it publicly.
    If we didn’t have people like you and even Joe Wilson (yes it was rude, but it kept my head from exploding while I listened to Obama lie) many of us would feel as though we were all alone in this weird twilight zone existence Thank you for expressing some of our frustration and downright anger.

  • http://catholicmiscellany.blogspot.com/ Karen LH

    I think the vote temporarily derailed Lent for a lot of people. Thanks for this post.

  • Ellen

    Stay angry – I think anger is justified here. Some of the saints were famous for being angry guys (St. Jerome comes to mind). But don’t hate. There’s the key I think. I am so angry with congress and the president right now, I could burst, but I don’t hate them. Yesterday, at Mass I prayed for them and it was as if a weight fell off my back. I prayed again today – through clenched teeth – but I prayed and will continue to do so.

    [Yes, that's the difference. I felt justified in my anger, but also felt that my writing was allowing in hate (or encouraging hate) and I didn't want that, and that what was troubling me. When we go too far, we allow Old Scratch to have way too much sway. It would have been so easy to hate. I couldn't not address that in myself -admin]

  • mb

    You taught us to pray for those we are angry at – “Lord, the one you love – Nancy Pelosi – needs you.” I am still angry but the prayer you suggested makes me remember that – God knows all, and alle shall be welle. (maybe not until eternity, but it shall!)

  • Mary

    Hello,

    You know, my heart sank as soon as I saw the headline for this post, for i just KNEW you were going to wimp out.

    Sorry, but I feel there is NO WAY that your original message should be tempered. If anything, MORE people ought to be outraged at this terrible, terrible chain of events and the outrageous and evil actions of Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her pack of phony-catholic jackals.

    What is happening to the Church through the infestation of ‘feminist theologians’ in the universities (and all the rest of the ‘liberation theology’ madness )is causing REAL HARM. Children are being taught this faith-killing stuff from younger and younger ages…and what are WE doing about it?????

    This is a time for honesty and genuine action….not a sheepish retraction of a HEALTHY reaction to tyranny.

    God Bless you,

    M

    Ps: we got to confession ANYWAYS, not just after spectacular blogposts !!!!!

    [I'm not wimping out. As I say here, I feel like I was justified in my anger. I just wrote a little too red for my own comfort and peace. If I were wimping out, I'd be saying "it wasn't so bad, that she used St. Joseph like that." I am not saying that, at all. I am not even talking about Pelosi here. I am talking about my own puny soul. That's all. And I go to confession pretty frequently, actually. I am, after all, Bad Lizzie. :-) -admin]

  • MJ

    As a priest once told me, it’s not the anger, it’s what you do with the anger!

    During Evening Prayer yesterday, I realized I must step back and not let this anger (justified or not) control me.

    Our parish is having a Penance Service this evening and I will be there to receive the graces available through reception of the sacrament.

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  • http://wannabeanglican.blogspot.com/ WannabeAnglican

    I bet St. Joseph got ticked at Pelosi, too. ;^)

  • Mickey

    Lizzie,

    I enjoy your writing but I feel I must offer you the counsel I once received in the confessional when confessing the same sins of pride and anger…the good friar told me:

    “Mickey, there is such a thing as righteous anger.”

    It is righteous anger to be offended on behalf of Good St Joseph for his name and image to be used for furthering an anti-life, anti-family, anti-Catholic agenda by an apostate woman in the government.

    Obviously what we do with that anger is important, and only you and Our Lord can know what’s in your heart.

    But.

    I would suggest that one of the reasons She Who Will Not Be Named and the rest of the Party of Death got elected (and remain elected) in the first place is that there was a little too much “prayers for her wounded soul” and too little “running the money changers out of the temple.”

    Righteous anger, indeed.

  • Mike

    “She deserves my sympathy and my compassion and my prayer.

    I hope I can have yours.”

    You have my sypmathy and compassion, although in my opinion it is not needed.

    As for Nancy, I think not.
    My sympathy and compassion goes to those that will suffer and die from this evil that she has helped pass.
    As Christ said- Let the dead bury the dead.

  • http://templeofmut.wordpress.com/ Mutnodjmet

    Dear Anchoress: In the first season of Lent I am truly engaged in as a Catholic, I wanted to chime in with a few of my humble opinions. As your posts inspired me to join RCIA — in part, so that I remained grounded and civil while I engaged in citizen activism with the Tea Party group I helped co-found, I hope you do not think I am being too presumptuous. :)

    I think that Catholics and other Christians too often forget there is righteous anger. During lent, I revisited the story of Jesus healing the blind man. It was apparent that the Pharisees, questioning the man and Jesus, were taking the “morally superior” tact and trying to undermine and belittle both the miracle and the Son of Man. In the end, Jesus said:

    “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but because you say, ‘we see’, your sin remains. ”

    Pretty harsh, in retrospect. But true.

    I know that you have helped me evolve as a blogger, pundit, and citizen activist through your faith and example. I can’t tell you how often I cringe as I read back through my older work. But, as my Deacon says, we are all a “work in progress”.

    To your other readers, I might add — don’t get mad at Pelosi, get active. My pastor, Father Anthony, gave a homily yesterday outlining the reasons he was upset my the content of Obamacare and the way it was passed. After the service, I indicated that I was a co-founder one of the area’s largest Tea Party groups with 40% non-GOP membership, and provided him contact information. I noted we would be engaged in repealing this effort and that if any of his flock needed something to do, we would be delighted to put them to work. He seemed very thankful to be able to offer such a sensible suggestion in the future.

    I will try and add more coherent thoughts today, but wanted to say that the focus of you and every one of us interested Americans should be forward.

    Hugs, prayer, and my deepest appreciation for all your work. MUT

  • Jennifer

    This “confession” is proof-positive of your advancement and your love. It just makes me love you more.

    I often struggle with finding the elusive balance between righteous anger and just plain nasty-spewing anger. Does every lost temper equal sin? I’m not sure. We have very legitimate reasons to be very angry with Pelosi for the scandal she causes. Is that to be excused with soft words, or confronted directly, even with harsh words?

    My difficulty is with keeping the “Grrrrr!” from turning into hate in my heart. I have little use for Pelosi as she is, but in a more humble moment, I also know that I want to see her changed by Christ and not be lost forever to the enemy. I don’t wish for anyone to be lost forever. So I pray that she will encounter Christ and be brave enough to admit it.

    I appreciate what you said today as well as what you said on Thursday. I think I have some confessing of my own to do this week… I know the goings-on of my heart was not terribly loving. I am angry, frustrated, fed-up and frankly, scared for my country. To know that “Catholics” like Pelosi are largely responsible for this mess is maddening.

    Enough rambling… thank you, Elizabeth, for your honesty once again. Your candor is always inspiring. God bless you this week.

  • http://mayfairplace.blogspot.com Dana

    To recognize our own imperfections, to take the time to look behind the judgments we make of others and towards others can be a cruel awakening at first. We are all in that boat, if we choose to be….. Many people stay asleep and take no ownership of their opinions, their voice, their judgments for their whole lives. I find that sad. It’s the easy way out and it doesn’t help.
    Like you, I am a political beastie. I love it. I love writing editorials and getting all lathered up by the energy I feel inside me. I’ll go toe to toe with anyone when it comes to political issues. Passion rules…. but it also floods our thinking doesn’t it?

    I think one of the biggest challenges we are provided in life is to learn how to “love the unlovely…..” It’s a constant part of our journey. And the way I see it, is that if we take the time to reflect… to see the underlying reasons behind why we act and react, be it a clash of values, built up resentment, ego defensiveness as a means to protect, we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity to live as extension of God. We are losing that sense of humility and love for all which to me is the greatest gift we have been given.

    We all screw up………. we’re human and imperfect, and I’ve completely screwed up things in my life lately. What I’ve shared with you is what I too am trying to absorb and understand.

    Good for you to take the time to reflect and to share this lesson in such a vulnerably public domain. :)

  • SallyJune

    Just to show what a lightweight I am: I get a tickle out of it, every time you talk about “bad Lizzie.”

  • SuzyQ

    You’re a much better person than I am. I’m so seething livid I can’t see straight. I feel rage, betrayal (Stupak!), and red-hot fury. I feel an almost eternal hatred, wanting Obama and Pelosi and Axelrod and Reid and all of them to plummet into hell and know regret and scream for mercy. I want lightening to strike the Capitol and the White House. I want to tear at their smug faces.

    Okay – now that I’ve said that out loud (electronically), I’m ready to go pray and put my trust in God. I needed that, you know. I think you needed to post your rage too. It’s too much to swallow into peace and faith all at once.

  • http://ConvertJournal.com George @ ConvertJournal

    Thank you Elizabeth. I was also writing a blog post about this mess and was dangerously close to crossing the line from anger to hatred. Your thoughts grounded me and I rewrote it.

    It strikes me as an irony how easy it is to be un-Catholic in our anger and disappointment over the actions of others we are accusing of being un-Catholic.

  • Joe Kash

    I have read some of the venom directed at you. This alone should be penance enough? Keep up the good work. We need your honesty.

  • Scott Jerome

    Rush is talking today of how conservatives are guided by love and how the left is not.

    I think that explains a lot of your confusion.

    Love is difficult.

  • Mary

    I also went to confession last night, yet am still struggling with despair and anger today,

    that’s not sin, that’s affliction.

    “Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

  • Mary

    “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger, and do not leave room for the devil.”

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  • vw

    Thanks for repenting. I get so downhearted when I read vitriol coming from my sisters in Christ. Especially when there are good and noble arguments to get made. Sometimes it helps to imagine if –or how– Our Lady might make the point, were she called upon to do so.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    All that comes to mind, dear friend, is Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple. He was in a state of mighty fury at that time – controlled but nevertheless huge in its scope. That was all you were doing with your post. Anger is okay when it is triggered by something as evil as that piece of legislation passed on Sunday night. Is it more offensive because it profaned the Lord’s Day? Is it more offensive because of Madame Speaker asinine bloviating? The answer to both questions – at least in my mind – is yes. It’s one thing to be as serene and kind as is your norm, but it’s another to tamp down fully justified anger because it’s somehow un-Christian to unload it. Letting stuff like that fester isn’t healthy, dear friend. You got it off your chest and now it’s over. We all know how you feel;this follower of your blog agrees with you entirely and even thinks that perhaps you understated the case against Madame and her minions!

  • Dale B.

    There are glorious prayers in the Psalms that give vent to the rage within. Psalm 139, especially verses 8 and 9!) makes all of your venting appear rather meek!

  • IrishTease

    Thank you for this posting. I come for the (often beautiful) Catholic inspiration. And I am rarely disappointed. When I stay for the politics-watch out sister! So again, thank you. So we will have to agree to disagree *and I mean disagree* but I feel safe and happy with our shared Catholic dialog! Someday,maybe, I’ll share my view of our differences. I might need a couple more years of working on my temper though.

  • http://templeofmut.wordpress.com/ Mutnodjmet

    Anchoress: One of the “lessons learned” that I apply to my posts is this — never write anything about a person you aren’t willing to say to his/her face.

    With that in mind, here is a sentiment I would long to directly share with our President:

    OBAMA: All the Compassion of a Logan’s Run Sandman, with NONE of the Good looks!

    Looking over what you said, I don’t think you were out-of-line by the general standards of courtesy. Furthermore, take a good look at this picture, and keep the thought of Queen Nancy with her scepter and her court in mind when you post about her in the future. Strong words are necessary to counter such arrogance.

    QUEEN NANCY AND HER COURT

  • Julie

    Only you can know your own heart, of course, and if you believe you need to confess this as a sin, by all means. However, I think your self recrimination is more over the top and less called for than your rage in this situation. You’re loved. Vent away!

  • http://thomasfortoday.blogspot.com Sr Lorraine

    What a wonderful expression of humility and a beautiful post!
    Today I found myself just sick at heart over the other scandal: of Obama giving to a Catholic nun (Sr Carol Keehan) one of the pens he used to sign the horrendous act. I believe this is deliberately calculated on his part to further dissension among Catholics. What sad times we are living in.

  • Stephen J.

    For what it’s worth, remember that all things serve the Lord; disgusted as you may be with your own anger, that does not mean there was no truth in it.

    From one of my favourite novel series, “The Dresden Files”, comes this quote from a modern-day holy paladin, consoling wizard-hero Harry Dresden after Harry’s explosion of rage has levelled a whole passel of bad guys:

    “I’m not a philosopher, Harry,” said Michael. “But here’s something to think about. What goes around comes around. And sometimes you get what’s coming around… and sometimes you are what’s coming around.”

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