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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Community and Confession

This past week has been an insanely busy one... it was especially hard because in my mind I know I should be on some beach somewhere relaxing and enjoying the summer... but instead, I was driving from one workshop to another and only stopping to sleep at my convent.  The rest of the time I was on the road.  I love being busy and I love to go to workshops and to work on different projects with different people.  I like to talk and to share ideas - but by the end of this week I was ready to crash.

On Friday night when I came back to the convent I dropped by bags on the floor of my bedroom and collapsed.  It was like 7 pm and I was out for the night, haha.  The next day I decided instead of going to the parish Mass in the morning I would sleep in and go to a nearby shrine that has confessions and Mass in the afternoon.  It is also a shrine that has significance for my community so it made it that much nicer.

I've been struggling this summer with some personal conflicts with some sisters.  (Yes, we have conflicts and broken relationships and negativity too.)  The basic situation is that I lived with these sisters at a very difficult time in my life and they were less than understanding.  As a result, I made some mistakes.  Because I "knew" that they didn't care - I didn't treat them as if I cared either.  Since then, I tried to explain my actions and ask for forgiveness for what I did wrong and while I have heard the words, "It's okay," the actions do not match that.  It is still being held against me.  Meanwhile, no one has ever apologized to me.

So I'm going to be spending a lot of concentrated time with these sisters this summer and I see the need for reconciliation.  I also know that I've done everything I can do to make that happen.  I see in the big picture of our future that we have to put these silly things behind us - but I think because they are so close with one another they don't see this need in the same way.

Anyway, I've been thinking about it and I was uncomfortable with my attitude towards those sisters and with the way I was feeling.  So when I went to confession I told the priest that I really felt resentful.  I also knew that I was holding onto it, that I was measuring who was "better" and who was "right" and how much I had done to mend these relationships and how little they had.  Of course I was the "better" and "right" one - so I included pride in my confession as well.

So Father was wonderful.  He spoke so passionately about how when these feelings come it is the time to pray and that's all there is to it!  There is no past, we live in the present and though the past colors it we have the gift as children of God of freedom.  So regardless of how my sisters choose to use their freedom, I have dedicated mine to living a particular way in the present and I will continue to try to reconcile.  I pray that they do the same and I know that they are trying to live the best that they can at this moment.  I have to remember that even if they don't put value on our relationship as sisters - they are putting value on something that is maybe more important right now.  We are all working on love - for God, for people, for community, for prayer - and somehow I'm sure it will all come together.      

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