I remember going to Catholic Church every Sunday with my mother and father like a fond memory of childhood. We would all do our best to sing to the melody of the opening hymn, though very off key, as the priests walk up to the altar. As the priest greats us with the peace of God, we would then recite the Penitential Act:
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and
in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault,
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Many other faiths and religions of the world have many other prayers such as the Penitential Act – asking God/The Higher Power for forgiveness of our wrong doings and reconciling ourselves with the Power Above. Islam, for example, has the Duha Prayer to seek forgiveness of sins from Allah and Buddhists have their varying prayers for forgiveness. Prayers of forgiveness, such as prayers of peace, come in a variety of forms all seeking to forgive the negative actions one did against God/The Higher Power, Life around the person, and the person themselves.
Such as the Penitential Act and with many other prayers for forgiveness, there is a common theme throughout them all: focusing on forgiving and reconciling the negative and harmful act only. When reconciling a checkbook, you do not just focus on what you spend, but you also focus on what you earn and balance the books to ensure you are not in the negative. In my view, forgiveness and reconciliation works the same way – we should not just focus on what we did wrong in the eyes of God/the Higher Power, but focus also on what we did right.
Balance the Books
Right and wrong, good and evil, yin and yang, life hold a balance to this world so all life can live in harmony. Such as how sorrow can remind ourselves to grow happiness in the gardens of our hearts, so to does understanding what we did wrong can allow us to learn how to make things right. With this, understanding what we did right allows us to continue doing what is right. When we train a dog to sit or stay, we praise the dog and give them a treat for what they did right; hence, they continue to sit and stay as they learned they gain more by what they do right. When we train the dog to not nip at the ankle, we clap our hands loud to let them know nipping the ankles leads to a bad sound, so they learn that not nipping is good.
With humanity and praying for forgiveness, it is balancing the books and training ourselves the rewards of doing right and what happens when we do wrong in the eyes of God/The Higher Power, life, and Earth. If we continue do wrong and never reconcile that it is wrong, we will continuously do wrong. If we continuously do right, but never reconcile to understand it is right, we will not be prepared for when we do something wrong and learn that it is wrong.
When I know that I sinned against God, I pray for forgiveness of what I did wrong, understanding of what I did wrong, and I look further and pray for God/The Higher Power to see what I did right, for me to understand what I did right, so I may further understand what is right and what is wrong. Without understanding of what is right and what is wrong, then how can we truly define what is right and wrong? How can we truly reconcile? Just as how we must trace where we receive a paycheck to file taxes and where $300 in our budget went to for food and bills, I find we must trace where we understand what is right and what is wrong to see how we can reconcile our mind, heart, and being with God/The Higher Power.
What We do Right
What we do right is more than what is viewed to be right within our views as humans, but what is right according to God/The Higher Power, the balance of life on earth, and the balance within us. Breaking down the walls of division between all humanity and seeing we are all human allows us to reconcile with God/The Higher Power that the ways we have divided humanity has led to more harm to our fellow men and woman while, in turn, allow us to see the right of understanding we are all here and all part of life as equals.
What we do right is more than what is expected of us from the social world around us, but what is expected of us to be a better human, living right here an right now. While the effects of greed has lead us greatly divided, seeing greed as greatly denounced as it is in all faiths and religions of the world allows us the opportunity to reconcile, learn how wrong this love of money is, and do what is right and build a better world that is for the benefit of all life and not just the few.
What we do right is more than just up to us as individuals – it is up to us as part of the world around us. From giving to charity, from tending to the sick, from cleaning the Earth of pollution, what we do right can be seen not just by God but by our own self reflection and by the communities we live with.
When we reconcile with both what we did wrong and what we did right, we can see that we are not always in the negative in our accounting books of life, but we can see how we can further balance our selves to be better humans for a better world.
Be well and be safe and healthy!