Wednesday, October 3, 2012


On a regular basis, those in a monastery have the Sacrament of Reconciliation made available to them.  We who live in the world, however, have to take an extra step toward receiving such a privilege.  As a general rule, we must go TO where this is being offered. 

Perhaps we can think of it as mortification in advance.  

Our Sisters in a monastery, meanwhile, have a scheduled time when a priest comes to them.  In our "monastic day," perhaps that time can be right now.

In thinking of this, I decided to re-post (with a bit of minor editing) something I wrote on this subject for the Breadbox Letters blog this past Lent...

“When you want to write on a blackboard," wrote Charles de Foucauld, "you must first wipe off what is written there.”  

Several things occur to me as I read this.  First of all:  chalk is not permanent.  Nor are my sins.  Once the “board” has been erased, the original mistakes can no longer be read. 

Second:  a blackboard cannot be erased unless something is done.  Someone has to actually take action and clean the board.

Third:  a chalkboard eraser is not a steel wool pad.  It is soft.  It’s made to clean the board, not harm it.  If a blackboard could feel, I doubt it would cry “ouch.”

“God,” wrote St. Gregory the Great, “scourges our faults with strokes of love, to cleanse us from our iniquities.” 

Strokes of love.  Not lashes, but strokes of love.

Jesus wants to erase every one of my sins.  He knows I cannot do it on my own.  He has given the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a loving, healing Eraser.  I pray for the grace to “confess my sins, do penance, and amend my life."  May Our Lord write what HE wants on my life; may He make it totally His own. 


To continue our second monastic day, click this line