Merry Christmas to my Hennessey Clan,
Below is a little poem that I received while doing the spiritual exercises with Sam this year. In the early exercises there is a great emphasis on repentance as a prerequisite for being able to discern God’s will for your life. One of the exercises calls us to meditate on the sin of the angels as the very first sin, then the sin of Adam and Eve as the first sin in the world, the sin of Cain as the first murder, and then finally the first sin in our own lives. My first sin was most likely against my brother, but this is the first one that I can remember in any detail. I was probably about five or six at the time.
Why such a somber topic at Christmas? Because that’s the reason he came to earth…to save us from our sins. I ask each of you to take a little time during this busy season to reflect on the ways that sin has kept you from answering His call to the fullest this year. Then with the grace of confession and a firm resolve, you’ll be ready to take on the challenges of the new year.
Merry Christmas, and Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ…Now and forever. Amen!
The First Time
A life of sinfulness is mine,
Now looking back I see and pine.
The trailer in our humble clan
God placed in providential plan.
As early as my thoughts recall
I heard His gentle loving call.
That sound so sweet tugged at my heart
And beckoned give me every part.
I wanted to, I really did,
But selfishness within me hid.
I turned and tried to satisfy,
My greedy hand and then I lied.
A rush from deep within me rose.
My face grew hot and red my nose.
Then disappointment all around,
From Mom and Dad, and me I found.
A simple way to satisfy
My taste for sweets. Okay, I’ll try.
I took a nickel, then a dime.
What could it hurt? Was this a crime?
But that first time I turned away,
To follow my own selfish way,
I started on a path of sin.
A weakening did then begin.
So simple as it was before,
Is gone and now for evermore,
I struggle in a carnal world
Where evil constantly unfurls.
Concupiscence is what I’m told,
Comes from one sin that’s ages old.
Now all mankind is bound in chain,
That’s only broken by his pain.
My sins grew many in the day
That I was free to live my way.
But all I found was worthless junk,
No pleasure still could lift this funk.
Regardless of this life a mess,
He bid me “Come and please confess.
Receive great mercy from above,
And taste the sweetness of my love.”
With tears of sorrow on my face,
I stepped into that little place.
My sins were emptied like a drain,
And grace now filled my heart again.
Why did I stray so long from Him,
Succumbing to each urge or whim?
Why did I choose the darkness when,
The light of Christ was made for men?
I am a weak impatient man,
But with the help of God I can,
Now learn the way the saintly went,
And frequently, humbly repent.
Return to me that I may know,
That innocence of long ago,
And find that lofty dwelling place,
Of endless light and holy grace.