Peace and quiet

Grant, most merciful Lord, to your faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve you with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

One of the things I have always loved about being an Episcopalian is that we engage in regular communal and private confession. We do this together on most Sundays (with certain exceptions, particularly during the Easter season) and also have the opportunity to make our confession to a priest privately. I think it's good to have confession as a regular, normal part of life. Because falling short is also a regular, normal part of life. It is good to just say that out loud. And also it is good to receive absolution.

Today's collect is also a form of absolution that can be said by anyone. (In the Episcopal Church, only an ordained priest may directly pronounce absolution ("forgive you all your sins"), but anyone can ask God to forgive ("forgive US all our sins"). It also emphasizes the aftermath of absolution: peace, and a quiet mind. That's what absolution is supposed to produce, a quiet mind. So pardon and peace bring that. Having our sins removed from us brings us that peace. So we can refocus on God and neighbor and not be wracked with guilt and shame. 

May you find peace today.