Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Am Partly Sorry

I often sang along with the radio in my youth.  Never mind that I was a far from engaging vocalist.  Never mind that I was shockingly oblivious to lyrics as well. 

I remember croaking along merrily with a soft ballad describing "white on white, lace on satin, blue velvet ribbons on purple cake..."  I even went so far as to discuss this unusual lyric with a friend.  

"Doesn't that sound like the ugliest wedding cake ever?!," I tsk-tsked, never questioning the validity of my perceptions.  Either my friend had the same hearing problem as I, or she was too kind to correct me.  But we seemed to both envision a towering cake of dark purple, ringed round with turquoise bows.  I'm ashamed to admit how old I was before I found out the truth about this, but let's just say that it was my husband who told me.  And we were already married.  "...it's 'blue velvet ribbons ON HER BOUQUET'," he clarified.

Oh.


It seems my hearing lapses were not limited to lyrics.  I learned the Act of Contrition in first grade, and recited it in Confession at least bi-weekly.  I was in fourth grade when the priest on the other side of the dark shadowy veil stopped me just after I'd begun my usual:  "O my God, I am partly sorry for having offended Thee, and I..."  


He broke right in.  


"Are you only
partly sorry?", he asked.  I knelt there in panic.  Well... well, of course!, said I.  That's what the prayer says, that's how I learned it, yes Father I'm sure I must be partly sorry, I'm at least partly sorry and that's a good thing isn't it Father? (am I passing this test?).

Father was kind in his correction.  And I've been heartily sorry ever since.  Although...


There are times when I think about Father's gentle question.   It's not a bad one for an examination of conscience.  I mean - how many times do I confess sins and faults for which I'm only partly sorry?  If I'm really honest with myself, how much thought do I give to what I have done, to the pain it might have caused someone?  To the pain it might bring to Our Lord?
 


Yes, perhaps I have before me a good point for reflection.  If I said the Act of Contrition right here, right now, and if I were really honest with myself... what kind of sorry would I be? 


Painting: Alexei Harlamov, in US public domain due to age
thebreadboxletters.blogspot.com





This gently re-edited post was originally published on September 6, 2012. I share it here in order to link up with Reconciled To You and Theology Is A Verb, where a great group of Catholic bloggers re-post favorite articles on “It’s Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays.



16 comments:

  1. Ha! Reminds me of the cute little 1st grader in our family prayer group reciting, "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with me."
    Great reflection, Nancy.

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    1. "The Lord is with me.." I love that, Kathleen! And it's even correct :)!

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  2. Having taught oodles of kids this prayer (and having to explain the word heartily..) I actually laughed out loud! :) Oh, how confession id good for the soul! :)

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    1. I didn't understand what the word heartily meant even after being told that was what the prayer 'said.' I suppose I eventually figured it out....:) !

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  3. LOVE this! I spent 2 months this fall substitute-teaching second grade, where we prayed the "Hell Mary" during morning prayers...
    Beyond that, though, there's a grain of truth in that "partly sorry" thing. What a great question to ask yourself before confession: am I ONLY partly sorry?

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    1. You've really jogged my ancient memory!!! I vaguely remember thinking 'hail' wasn't a nice word to say... so why we were saying it in a prayer? Teaching second graders must be great fun!!

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  4. LOL Nancy. MY kids make up the funniest lyrics too. I better go check if my first communicant is only partly sorry

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    1. It would be good to be sure, Anabelle! ;)

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  5. Partly Sorry... LOVE IT!! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Thank YOU for such a terrific link up!!

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  6. This is so funny . . . and yet sobering too. What a great story, and lesson here.

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  7. I also enjoy hearing your funny side just as much as your spiritual side!

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    1. It's a good thing, Patty, because the funny side does pop out - sometimes at unexpected times :)

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