day twenty-six.

So here’s another attempt to blog using my iPod, because I don’t have any of my laptops with me. Right now I’m sitting at Starbucks in Robinson’s Galleria, eating dinner and waiting for my brother. My feet are aching from all the department store shopping I did. I’m happy about my purchases but my stingy side is angry at me for spending so much today (but at least it’s not as much as spending for Branson vacations) .

Just another day in the life of Tina.

Or wait. Not really.

I missed Earth Hour this year, because I was stuck in the mall. Some stores participated, but the rest of the mall didn’t. I guess it would be weird and chaotic if the entire mall turned off their lights? Then again I know SM Malls participated. Anyway, I didn’t feel Earth Hour, obviously, because I didn’t spend an hour in almost total darkness, like last year. Almost, because our TV was tuned in to NatGeo last year during Earth Hour. Next year I’m making sure I’m home then. Or at least, be in a place that participated so I can join in the unity and whatnot.

Today I also met up with my friend Cors at Greenbelt. We had lunch at Recipes, dessert at Gelatissimo (Hazelnut gelato! ♥), and shopped at Landmark — all with girl talk, of course! But those things were just side trips. The real highlight of our day is our confession at the Greenbelt chapel.

There was a time when I told myself I’d go to confession every month. Then it became every other month. However, I was only comfortable to go to confession at one place, at the Greenbelt chapel. I don’t know why – maybe it’s the peacefulness of the chapel even if it’s in the midst of a busy mall? Anyway, I’m ashamed to admit that I never got to do the confess every month thing, or every other month, because Greenbelt is too far. But I try as much as possible to go to confession before Holy Week comes around.

I won’t go discuss what happened inside anymore (of course), but let me just say this: a huge load was lifted off my shoulder when the priest said, “I absolve you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You are forgiven, go in peace and sin no more.” Okay, those may not have been the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. I felt lighter, and refreshed, like everything is right with the world again.

And maybe it is, you know? After all, I have been forgiven. I know, we can all ask forgiveness from God directly, and there’s really no need to go to a priest to confess your sins…but doesn’t it feel so much better when someone tells you that you are forgiven? Someone who Jesus has appointed and has given authority to hear confession and absolve people who want to repent?

But I’m not here to talk about the theology of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you want to read about that, go to Lifeteen or BustedHalo – they have answers and explanations for you. What I want to talk about, really, is it feels good to be clean. To be new. It feels good to be forgiven. To know that God has poured His mercy on you and all your sins are washed away, forgotten because He has forgiven you. My puny heart and mind can’t understand how His grace and mercy works, but I won’t refuse it. Who am I to refuse that gift?

Tomorrow is the start of Holy Week. Last year, I had a very different Holy Week, and I posted about all my struggles then. This year…I’m going to try and be open. And I’m going to try to be still and listen. I will try and ask God for the grace to see Him and feel Him and hear Him this week, as I reflect on the greatest act of love ever. And I hope that this week, I find Him again.

Whoever you are who’s reading this post, I hope you find Him this coming week. I’m sure He can’t wait for you, too. :)