i'm an associate of the community of the holy spirit, an episcopal convent, which means that i'm a lay person (although there are ordained associates) who follows a rules of prayer, goes on retreats, and goes to confession twice a year. i hate confession. it ties in with my confusion over the concept of sin, redemption, salvation. i was told as a child that i am bad and i have so tied that in with my concept of sin that i think of confession as a chance for the priest to hear how bad i am. it's an internalized message that no amount of intellectual understanding will erase.
so, i've been making this a focus of my prayer and meditation. one thing i heard today in an al-anon meeting helped me look at it in a new light. the meeting i went to was on the first step, "we admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." the reading was about how we may not have an issue with alcohol, or may not have an active alcoholic in our lives at present, but we can sustitute the word alcohol for other words like people, places, things. what i heard at the meeting is that when i think i can control other people, places, or things, i get far away from the one who really does have that power, god, and my life becomes unmanageable. i suddenly thought that maybe one definition of sin that i can relate to is that when i think i'm the one in charge, that i have control, that i am powerful, that is sin.
i am just starting to get a concept of how far i have to go yet. i feel like plato's man in the cave.
fortunately, i'm not the one in charge. there is a god and i'm not it.