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, in what I have done, and in 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.I usually bow my head when we pray the Confiteor at Mass, but this morning, my eyes happened to glance up at the large crucifix hanging on the altar. This crucifix is gory - not nearly on the level of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ - but still a bit macabre.
The crown of thorns pierces his head so that blood drips down his brown like sweat on a hot, humid day.
Blood spatters from the wounds in his hands, the nails the only thing stopping the blood from spurting forth.
All the muscles in his arms are tensed as they work to hold up his entire body, while also adding to that which weighs him down.
Every rib is outlined in his chest, as if every fiber of his midsection grasps for a single molecule of oxygen from the air.
His abdominal muscles are tensed and inset, as if he just inhaled his last breath, never releasing it in an exhale.
A gaping wound drips from his side, and some of the blood stains the loincloth that covers him.
His kneecaps are red, as they would if they were kneeling under the weight of the world.
Blood drips gravitationally down from his feet, the wounds red and sore.
I have been attending this parish intermittently for two years, but it was this morning while praying the Confiteor that I truly realized how gruesome the crucifix is.
It was at this moment that I thought, My sins caused this. All the sins I've ever committed in my life, and will commit in the future - my sins caused this to happen.
I try to approach repentance and regret for my sins with a contrite heart, saddened for offending God, but it often ends up being more of a sadness out of fear of Hell and knowing that I should feel sorry for my sins.
Not this morning. This morning, the pew held me up as I realized that even my tiniest wrongs have offended our most loving Creator, that my sins killed Him.
Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.Thankfully, we have an ever-forgiving God as our father, a God who will suffer a torturous and gruesome death out of love for me, you, and everyone else in the world, past, present, and future.
Lord, have mercy on us.