I read a most amazing document today: the English translation of an open letter published in November 2007 from the Archbishop of Quebec, Marc Ouellet, in which he repents for past sins of the Catholic church in Quebec. (see http://www.catholicregister.org/content/view/1302/849/)
This week I found myself on the negative side of the compass. I complained about everything from the provincial government, to Catholicism, to secularism, to the passive entitlement attitude of people in this province, to the wind and ice, to annoying things my friends said to me, to living in my small town. Rather wretched, I know. I am not sure why this deathly habit grips me occasionally - I hate the person I am in these moments. I repented a lot for it today, not sure anything was changing in my heart. Regret is not always enough to change the course of ones life. When I came across this public letter of repentance, the fire of hope burned deep in me again. Hope that we can change, that evils can be redeemed, that eyes can be opened and ears can hear, that we can change the road we are on, that destructive habits and addictions can be erased by the sweep of Spirit who brings freedom.
On the way to school, on a cold and windy and icy day, I prayed:
Thank you for Dean. I love him and he is my best friend.
Thank you for the sunshine. I love it. It is a good thing.
Thank you for French class. I love it: learning with all my cool classmates and a kind teacher.
Thank you for my friends. I love them and all they add to my life.
Thank you for streets and a car and being warm inside. I love it all. It is all such a good life.
You are good. Everything that comes from you is good. Thank you. Don't let me forget to say thank you.
and may I add...thank you for the gifts of repentance and forgiveness. Let me unwrap them every day - they are the key to being embraced by God, for he loves the humble and draws close to them.
This is the prayer corridor at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, a place I love to visit.