by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach o.p.
|In 2014 a man struck a woman about the head and upper body with the result that she sustained injury to the bone structure of her face requiring multiple staples in reconstructive surgery to her eye socket. What is remarkable about this story is not that a woman was overpowered and injured by a man – that happens a lot, unhappily – but that it was a transgender man in a boxing ring, and when his action was called in question he claimed victim status, and was supported in this by the 'liberal' press.|
by Sr Tamsin Mary
Sometimes in the humdrum of our lives we wish we had the gifts of some other person, and this wish is not always ignoble – or if it is it very skilfully disguises itself – ‘If only I could be the great saint who converts my country, or who sacrifices all and puts an end to abortion, or who preaches so magnificently that my religious Congregation is restored to its former vitality’ or whatever floats your boat. There may well be some genuine sorrow there for the ‘might-have –been’ that we have conclusively ruled out because of our sins. I wish I had been more generous earlier and become a sister in my twenties, for example.
A talk given for a ‘teams of Our Lady’ retreat by Sr Tamsin Mary Geach
When we were discussing themes for this year’s retreat and day of recollection two ideas emerged – the theme of prayer and the theme of confession. As I was reflecting on what I could say I thought that I could talk about both – that perhaps to see the sacrament as a way of prayer would shed light on the whole theme of confession, and to talk about confession as prayer would shed light on the idea of prayer.
Start then with prayer: Prayer is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God. There are traditionally four main strands in prayer – petition, adoration, contrition and thanksgiving. Conveniently for remembering this there is the acronym ‘PACT.’ So in the confession of sins all these elements should be present, although maybe not quite in that order. Firstly, we may find in our life of prayer some sense of blockage, woundedness, a sense of being called to a conversion we are not ready to make.