Rocks in your Backpack

I’ve been talking about prayer in the Melrose School Chapel at the Thursday Eucharists.  This past week I asked advice from Anne, a guest from Washington University Medical School, visiting us on her spring break. I wanted to talk about confession.

“Sin is like carrying a huge rock around in your backpack,” said Anne.  “Nobody can see it, but you contort your body and your life around the weight of the rock.  Confession is like the day somebody comes up to you and reaches for your backpack and says, ‘I’ll take that from you!’ and it’s gone and you feel wonderful.”

We decided that a chapel full of rocks would be fun and Bill and I littered the floor with fist size gravel.  Students found their “sin” or troubles or worries, whatever might be bothering them, and after a time of meditation, put the rocks in a glass bowl.  But the chapel floor was still  messy with rocks.

“Just look at the floor! There’s sin and sorrow all over the place! Would anyone, ANYONE be willing to take on another’s sins and pray them into the bowl?”   Students were eager to do this, too, and they left the chapel clean, the rocks washed with fresh healing water during the absolution.

And now, Holy Week.

Let me bury my sins in your tomb, O Jesus.   Take with you my failings, my weaknesses, my worries.  Give me grace to die to those things that keep me from your will, and help me not to cling to illusions of you.  Let me rise with you to new life, that I may live as your hands and heart in this broken world with the power and love of your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Visit http://jerusalemholyweek.blogspot.com/ for Jessie DeGrado’s Holy Week  in Jerusalem Blog !

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3 Responses to “Rocks in your Backpack”

  1. Jean Rettus Says:

    Very moving. Very conducive to meditaiton.

    I love the Jerusalem Holy Week blog. Fantastic.

  2. Tom Sramek, Jr. Says:

    I really like the image that just because OUR sin has been picked up and ‘prayed into the bowl’ doesn’t mean we’re done. Rather, it is in the taking on of others sins, not to fix them but to carry them to the bowl in prayer, that the chapel is cleaned.

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