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I used to be quite rebellious with confession. Growing up Catholic, I just didn't get it. But in converting to Orthodoxy, I didn't have the same aversion to it. I guess somewhere, somehow along the way, I finally understood that it wasn't the priest that is forgiving me. It is God. And the priest is simply a witness for me.... a human to humble myself before but is really just a witness to the event of the forgiveness of these sins I confess. And, thankfully, a guide. A guide to help me think through what I have done and the way to get myself back onto the right path.

Tonight I wasn't sure I was ready....I still always seem to manage to put it off....a sacrement that really I should participate in more often. Always with my list...so I don't forget anything I feel to be really important to include...nervously go up and kneel down before the cross and whisper my sins to God (and the priest of course, as our witness....)

His words took me off guard today. Wow.....It always amazes me what perspective a priest can put to something. Something I've struggled with all my life and then God gives him the words I need to hear right then at that moment..... opening my eyes, lifting a burden up off of my shoulders.... I feel cleansed.

"Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be cleansed; Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow" Psalm 50:9

My son will be two years old at the end of the month.

He is our first child that is 'cradle Orthodox'.  It has already been a wonderous experience....the baptism, chrismation and of course the first communion and all of those to follow.  He has wonderful godparents whom we feel very close to.

His favorite activity is playing 'church'.  It started over a year ago.  He waves his plastic links, chained together, as though they are a censor.  As time went on, he learned to kiss icons and crosses, so each time he sees one he must kiss it.  It doesn't matter where it is....within reach or not, so sometimes this is a challenge as he gets rather upset if he can't.  He also takes them off the wall or the dresser and walks around the house with it, holding the icon or cross, or yes, even the bible, high above his head, singing in a tone quite similar to that of the priest....Could it be? "Blessed is the kingdom......"

Now, in addition to bible and censor, we have vestments.  His trusty blanket.  This is the blanket given to him by his godparents on his baptism day.  This is 'blankie'.  This is the beloved item that goes everywhere.  It now rests gently upon his shoulders, tied in a knot at his chin or, in a rather funny fashion, clipped on with a Pampered Chef Twix It Clip,.....  But alas, it drapes across his shoulders hanging down past his knees in the back.  He lifts up his arms, sings (Blessed is the Kingdom) and proceeds to do prostrations and crosses himself.

It is dear. 
It is precious.

It is etched into my memory forever.