Saturday, February 6, 2016

366 Project - Day 37 - "Sacred Heart"

February 06, 2016 - "Sacred Heart"

Today I'm in Sacred Heart Church in Stamford, CT.

This church has meant a lot to my family over the years. Weddings, Christenings, Funerals... most have taken place here for the last five, six, seven decades or so. I haven't stepped foot in this place since November 2000... and that was for an extremely sad reason.

Today I'm back... kneeling and praying before the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus... and sitting in the front pew looking up at the beautiful mosaic wall behind the altar. I'm here for Reconciliation... which is a bit strange, because I usually go to Confession at my own parish in Brookfield... but since I'm down this way today, I thought I'd go here instead.

It's a very different experience. At my parish - St. Marguerite Bourgeoys - the Confessional is a side room within the church. It is bright and open. You can choose to confess hidden behind the screen... or you can sit in the chair face-to-face with your priest (which is what I usually do). Here at Sacred Heart, however - it's a bit more "old school". You enter a very tiny confessional which is pitch black until the priest opens the screen and a tiny bit of a glow creeps in. It's still too dark to see anything - so I found myself having to use the glow of my iPhone to find the kneeler and such... and was praying that the priest didn't notice the glow and think I was doing something like checking Facebook while he recited the prayers of absolution! (Thankfully he did not.)

Emerging from the Confessional I knelt before the Tabernacle to give penance, and I could not help but feel the "presence" of all of my family members who have spent so much time here - looking at this exact same mosaic image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was very comforting.

On the way out I lit a candle for the souls of all of the loved ones my family has lost... and left with a sense of comfort I have not felt for quite some time. I guess, in a strange and roundabout sort-of-way, it's good to be back "home".


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