A repeat that I remembered when I (outrageously) went outside today.
When I first moved to Minnesota (January 1996), I thought people talked a lot
about the weather. Incessantly. To the absolute exclusion of anything else. In
fact, other subjects of any existential depth whatsoever were nixed for the
current wind chill, the comparison to yesterday's wind chill, much educated
guessing about the iceout date (when the lakes see open water in the Spring, of
course), yearly Blizzard comparisons, whatever. When I mentioned one time that I
found it a little dismissive (as in, you're not important, but today's projected
high sure is!), I was reminded with some force that weather kills you in this
state. OK, hard to dispute. My individual existence is squat compared to
humanity's efforts to survive the whims of the weather gods, interpreted through
their priests: the local news meteorologists.
So I keep living in this
state, trying to figure out how a person can be a Christian existentialist and
survive both the weather and the talk of it. As I stepped outside to catch the
bus (and you betcha, it was cold. -12 F and windy. I suppose the wind chill was
about -250 or so), it came to me.
This is Confiteor weather.
Don't get me wrong. I love singing the Kyrie Eleison in Mass, which
often replaces the Confiteor. But something about the Confiteor (printed below,
if you don't know what I'm talking about) fits in late January on this
Midwestern glacier. My sin. Weather that can kill you. Walking to the bus stop
as walking through the valley (or weather) of death. Desperate seeking for
shelter and warmth. It's all connected somehow.
Personally, I don't
think I can say the Confiteor enough. If this weather reminds me of that, well,
that's a blessing. So as a Minnesota transplant, I can finally embrace winter.
It's High Confiteor season.
Feel free to say it with me:
confess to Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
have sinned through my own fault:
In my thoughts and in my words,
what I have done,
and what I have failed to do.
And I ask Blessed Mary,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and
to pray for me to the Lord our God.