Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Friday, February 27, 2004


It's only been a day since Ash Wednesday, but already I've made a few more steps in the wrong direction. The ancient Romans used to draw the soul as a tiny figure with wings. My anima may be vagula, but not blandula. Her tiny wings are the color of charcoal and ash, and maybe they are broken.

The lucky thing is that Jesus forgives sins. "Cleanse me from my iniquities, and I shall be as white as snow." Different denominations handle this different ways; some give great credence to mental prayer, others to standing up in front of the congregation to confess. Catholics do something that stands exactly in the middle; we tell our sins to a member of the congregation (namely, a priest), who stands in as a visible sign both of the Church and our incarnate God.

It is hard to tell even a single person what I've done wrong. A single person with a long shrewd knowledge of what sorts of things people get up to -- oh, it's hard. But it is fatally easy to tell your sins to God and not feel forgiven enough, or to weasel out of your sins as really not so bad. When you can hear what you're saying to someone else, and hear their own comments to you, it is a great deal harder to go to one extreme or the other.

I am praying today for several people, including myself, but especially for this young woman. (Link is not work-safe.) May God console her and help her deal with her pain in a better way. Cutting is not the answer; art is a better one; but I think she needs help and love most of all.


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