Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Te Absolvo

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Te Absolvo

Article excerpt

Of course we remember everything that ever happened to us.

Sure we do. We can easily make a concerted effort to forget,

And successfully forget from Levels One through Eight, but

You remember, somehow-at the cellular or molecular level

Perhaps, where shame and embarrassment are in cold storage.

The things you most want to forget are the things you cannot.

You can say, as I have, that you have no memory of that evil

Minute when you lied or cheated or dodged responsibility or

Worst of all pinned it on someone else; but of course you do.

One sweet thing about being Catholic is that you can politely

Ask for forgiveness, and be granted forgiveness-I mean, te

Absolvo, aren't those the two most terse glorious words ever?

But the crucial part of the sacrament that we don't talk about

Is the next part, the part after you leave the church. …

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