Splinters from the Cross and Cracked Pots – Insights from Confessions
You, know, I kind of like Confession. I know – I know, that is REALLY going to sound weird to a lot of people especially those who can’t stand Confession (or those of you who have not gone in a while. Little hint here….go. Go soon!). One reason is that I am really not a nice person if I have not gone in awhile. The other reason is that, when I need to get to Confession, I lose my car keys, I lose my wallet, I can’t get a good parking space, I run into snarky people, life just gets miserable.
So I’m talking to this priest the other day (By the way, this is NOT “Breaking the Seal of Confession.” It was my confession. He can’t say a word; I can tell whomever I want)… and he had some interesting words. He said:
“You know each of us has some aspect of our life that we struggle with – all the time! Each of us is an earthen vessel and we all have those particular cracks in the clay. Our weaknesses are our own ‘splinters of the Cross of Christ.’ (I particularly loved that image). But “why” is the question. Where does this come from? Stress? Family background? Emotional makeup? Other issues? The Lord wants to tell you something about this or you wouldn’t even be here. So, find some quiet time and go and ask him.”
Ah yes, quiet time. God “Speaks Through the Silence.” This is especially true when we’re struggling. We venerate the “7 Words of Christ on the Cross” especially during Lent, when Christ’s struggle was the greatest – on the Cross. Nevertheless, it was the silence of the Father that was so profound. Christ’s response? “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”
And what does our conversation with God sound like when we’re struggling? “You’re not talking. You’re not answering. I’m hurting down here! Why don’t you answer me?”
……. Silence …….
What is the faith response to this? “Ok, I believe that you’re hearing me. You’re not talking for a reason. I’ll get an answer. In the meantime, I’ll trust and wait, but I’m still hurting!”
And that’s ok.