I just finished reading Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Reagan. I’ve read a few other books about U. S. Presidents and other world leaders, and I am also currently reading Samuel Pepys The Unequaled Self by Claire Tomalin. Each of these books highlights the various roles people play throughout a lifetime. For many people their roles may change only slightly, or as in the case of Samuel Pepys, one may make a complete one-eighty and become very near the opposite of a previous self.
What I find so fascinating about people in positions of power is how their “incarnations” effect the world in which they live. Everyone seems to be going in some direction, be it toward growth and personal development or away from dignity toward degradation and brokenness.
Today, I have the opportunity to go to Confession at our Catholic Church and though the sacrament is over 2000 years old, and it has been well-discussed in many forums, it remains one of the most misunderstood channels of grace known to humanity. I go to Confession, not to humble myself before a man, but to humble myself before God and to beg for the understanding that only a sincere search for God’s light can bring. I won’t become wiser magically or immediately, but in the very act of considering, deeply and honestly, where I have failed in my personal mission to fulfill my vocation in life, so I encounter hope and truth.
Facing our dark side, considering the role we are playing now and if perhaps we have wandered from our goal, recommitting to our path, grieving and repenting our mistakes and sins, are all opportunities granted only to the brave.
Ironically, Nancy Reagan sought wisdom from the stars while her predecessor in marriage, Jane Wyman, found comfort and solace from the Dominican Sisters’ religious order. I wonder where we seek our wisdom. Even more, I wonder where we will find it.