Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Solemn Joy

November 15, 2006. I’m serving our regular midweek Mass. Old Father Davis is celebrating and there are a total of four in the chapel. I start out a little distracted, but we come to the words of the General Confession, and, while accusing myself in the following solemn words, I am suddenly convulsed with a holy laughter.

“Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry, for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, The burden of them is intolerable …”

Solemn Joy

I know my sin,
I hate my sin,
and yet I sin,
and I say the words,
and mean the words,
and feel the words,
of confession,
and sorrow,
and self-accusing,
and declare that I have earned
and everlasting pain,
and my lips begin to smile,
and my chest begins to heave
with silent rocking laughter,
with the blossoming of joy,
as, unworthy, there I kneel,
unworthy, waiting to be fed
with food I have not earned,
have not deserved,
and yet desire,
and I laugh,
because I know
Your Love
that does not give me what I earn,
but that which once forever
He has earned,
and in the Sacrifice we here present,
has bought, has owned,
and done away,
my sin,
my grievous sin,
condemning sin,
yet gone,
and on the Cross
and in the Loaf
and in the Cup,
I am free,
I am loved,
I am washed,
and in the rivers
of the everlasting Joy,
I laugh.

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