Saturday, January 24, 2004

Granting Shriv'ness to God

What! From this sorry creature be repaid
pure gold for what He lent us, dross allayed
Sued for a debt we never did contract, and cannot answer
O, the sorry trade!

Oh, Thou, who didst with Pitfall and with Gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou wilt not with Predestination round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

O Thou who man of baser earth didst make
and even with paradise, create the snake
for all the sins wherewith the face of man is blackened
Man's forgiveness give - and take!

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

"I feel need of shriv'ness, Father - and something else as well."

"Something else, Mrs. Grales?"

She leaned close to whisper behind her hand. "I need be giving shriv'ness to Him, as well."

The priest recoiled slightly. "To whom? I don't understand."

"Shriv'ness - to Him who made me as I am," she whimpered. But then a slow smile spread her mouth. "I - I never forgave Him for it."

"Forgive God? How can you - ? He is just, He is Justice, He is Love. How can you say - ?"

Her eyes pleaded with him. "Mayn't an old turmater woman forgive Him just a little for His Justice? Afor I be asking His shriv'ness on me?"

A Canticle for Leibowitz

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." An old, two-headed tomato woman in a sci-fi novel had it right.

God is Love, God is Justice - but some of us need to forgive God's perfect and terrible Justice - just a little. Cut us some slack. Life is brutish, nasty and short.

Mayn't an old tomato woman forgive Him, just a little, before asking forgiveness for herself?


Yes, darling child of God, let it go . . . .

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