” . . . let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him. Now that the crimson stains of our sins have been washed away in the saving waters of baptism and we have become white as pure wool, let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the king of Israel.”
— From a sermon by Saint Andrew of Crete, bishop
(Office of Readings)
I can’t read that without thinking, “I’ve gotta get to confession, for Easter.” I want to meet him as a welcoming branch.
Tomorrow, in New York and in many areas around the nation, confession is being offered “all day,” from parish-to-parish. It’s a powerful release, and a force for grace.
Over at Brutally Honest, Rick Rice and his wife — have recently been fully received into the church — discover weightlessness:
The missus and I attended our first Lenten Penance Service, in fact our first Penance Service ever, last night as our Catholic journey continues and though our wait for Reconciliation was admittedly a tad long, it was worth it. And I’ve got to believe the vast majority of those who waited thought the same.
Take the man who stood the entire time in line (while the rest of us sat in chairs in the waiting area). He seemed nervous… even a tad on the distraught side… and was mumbling the entire time… I’m sure he was actually praying given the setting but it looked like mumbling as the man’s lips seemed to be in perpetual motion… I’m certain he left weighing less than he did when he walked in.
Or the man whose sons used to play baseball with my sons more than a decade ago… a man who kneeled a number of rows in front of us for what seemed to be a very long time after his confession… a man I’m sure was recovering before my very eyes from that which can also be physically burdensome… I’m certain he left weighing less than he did when he walked in.
And Fr. Jonathan Morris: “God wants us to be happy.”