I was taught that one is not supposed to discuss what happens in the confessional (and since I don't want all two of my loyal readers to fall asleep at their computers I will refrain from giving you a verbatim account of what actually happened in my confession anyway but suffice it to say that with the help of a wonderful confessor who was there in persona Christi I was able to name the sinful state which had something to do with the rationalization that God made me this way so it must be okay with Him, but this week it hit me that "Oh no He didn't!" the fall made me this way and God expects so much more from me than the piddly little I am willing to offer. If I use that argument then I am no better than the people who fall into sexual sin and say they can't help the way they are! I was totally convicted, but not defeated, because becoming aware of where I was made me capable of finding a way out of the funk I was wallowing in.
Father and I discussed how I could begin to heal myself and my relationship with those whom my sinful condition had affected. The problem is that I can't do this on my own and when I try to do this mending on my own I just get into more difficulty.
So for my penance I was told to pray every day for the grace to admit that I need God's grace to change the situations that need to be changed in my life for the better. Then I have to be open to receiving and acting on that grace when God grants it. My old way was simply trying to "do it myself" and in doing that I have gotten it all wrong. I can do nothing by my own power. Not even the simple things I offered to give up for Lent were done by my own power, I could only accomplish them through God's grace.
So, when I admit before I even begin that I am powerless without God's grace to change my situation, then I can do so much more because I am not trying to rely on my own abilities but I am counting on God to supply what I need.
This morning when I went to my weekly prayer group the women I group with confirmed that this was a profound insight. This is the reason that groups like AA work; because they begin by admitting that one is powerless to overcome the addiction without the help of a higher power.
So, I am going to begin to use a new ejaculation prayer, whatever I need to call it. From now on, before I start any task that seems too daunting or too officious, or I just don't want to do, even though I know I should be doing it I am going to say this prayer:
Heavenly Father, with your help I will be able to . . .
Okay, so maybe while I am cleaning the toilets it may have to be a mantra, but I have to give it a try. It is a penance after all.