Forgiveness Sunday. I went to church this morning, and I had to leave before Matins ended. I started to throw up. It smelt like cheese. Today is the last day of cheese and, to exhibit my wisdom, I overindulged yesterday with this friend of mine, cheese, which I always enjoy transforming into my own body.
I came home and I crushed. A bit disappointed, since I really wanted to go to all Liturgies just before Lent. But I guess learning how to fail is part of it.
When I woke up, I remembered it was the last day of cheese. So, regardless of how I felt in the morning, I ate a final piece of cheese. Then it dawned on me (maybe that’s how you say “am constientizat” in English!) that I had to ask forgiveness from a friend of mine. I have not seen her in 20 years, but we had a discussion on Facebook, and I felt I harmed her. It was the occasion for a being-together with a friend.
Forgiveness vespers. Peace settles in.
“O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
“But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
“Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.”
The lenten prayer of St. Ephraim.
“When we sin, we sin against God and the entire creation,” father says. People line up and ask forgiveness from one another. Young, old, men, women, priest, laity. And you see a child, a few years old, and ask forgiveness from him. “The baird, the baird!” Am I not Mitya Karamazov?
“Forgive me, a sinner!’
“God forgives and I forgive.”
And so it begins.