Recently I was preparing to write a post and as I started to write, my own words sounded familiar. I did a search on my past blogs and what do you know, I found this post from 2010! I've improved. *cough*
"I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts, and in my words and what I have failed to do and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God."
" ... in my thoughts, and in my words and what I have failed to do ... " Those are the words that stick in my throat at Mass. We say so many things automatically at Mass that we forget their meaning. For me it came in stages, especially "in my thoughts." My thoughts were harmless right? Acts of vengence from long ago, little scenes played out to feed my own ego. No harm no foul, right? At least that's what I thought until I realized the damage those thoughts cost me. Alienation, a false confidence, bitterness.
And then, an offense to God. Huh? I had no idea that my little spinnings in my head offended God. I never acted on anything and I wouldn't dream of ... Oh, Lord. But I was dreaming and even though I had not acted on anything, I believe it was offensive to God.
Looking back I could see that it was all a falsehood. A lie. And in the very end, it separated me from God, away from Jesus even in the midst of praying and attending retreats. Oh, Lord, I am an idiot! "... and in my words ..." I swear. Literally. The hangers in the closet get in a tangled mess and I let loose with every swear word I know linked together in one big rush.
It's silly really. Built up frustration that falls out of my mouth with the greatest of ease. I don't know why I do it. Consciously I try not to swear, but it's in those weird little moments that I let loose with the foulest of the foul and as soon as I'm done ... I hear, " ... and in my words." "... and what I have failed to do ..."
Stop the thoughts (I'm doing much better), stop the swearing ... not so much. Occasionally as the first word forms on my lips, I'm able to stop in my tracks, but for the most part it still comes in a torrent.
Every week as I repeat the words, I look back and think, "How am I doing Lord? Are we good?"