A Virtual Leap of Faith
written by Laramie:
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Laramie at
BJGB's eyes slowly open and begin to focus on the clock next to her bed. She touches the slightly lit face of the clock and a soothing, somewhat husky female voice speaks, softly but firmly, "It's six fifteen, Sunday, November 6, 2020." BJ, as she is called by her friends, comes to life and from the comfort of her feathery bed and covers, sits up quickly, and recalls that she has a 7:10 appointment for confession. Suddenly, she feels the throbbing of her head and her dry cottony mouth makes her swallow and lick her lips. The hangover's revenge recalls for her the night before, and the 'one more for the road' she should have refused.
After she moved into her studio apartment, BJ set her computer stand close by so she could work on line simply by sitting on the edge of her bed, relieving her of the problem of the time it took her to get up out of bed, dress, fix herself up in the mirror, and whatever else beautiful young girls do in the morning before they go to work. Today she was in a hurry because she had slept in a little later than she wanted. She reached for the laptop on the stand, snapped it open, got online and began to type.
She clicked on 'Description of BJ and car', then on 'Arriving at Church.' On the monitor it showed an image of her driving into the parking lot of a small, white building where all online confessions were processed. Next she clicked on the site 'Confession Booth and Priest,' and on the monitor she saw the usual image of the interior of the long ago discarded confessional booth, it's dark, cramped quarters separated from a shadowy image of a priest behind a one foot by one foot screen.
BJ paused and began to wonder what her approach to the Holy Sacrament of Confession would be today. Each time she resorted to this ritual, there was always an almost imperceptible, deep down, gnawing feeling of guilt, a feeling of whether or not it was in fact a ruling by her God that she could simply confess what she thought was a sin, be forgiven, and then repeat the same sin, and be forgiven again, over and over and over. It just somehow seemed to her not to make any sense. But of course she would never reveal these heretical thoughts to another human being. She knew in her heart that if God approved, it would be okay, and if there was no God, and she was just talking to herself, it couldn't hurt anything to admit your mistakes.
It was time for a quick cup of coffee, so BJ pressed the coffee button by her bedside, got up, hurried over to the kitchenette area, and poured herself an instant cup of BJC. She took a gulp, a deep breath, and settled down again to her job at hand.
Next, the 'List of Sins' site was brought up, and the usual items glowed brightly; Lust of the Neighbors Significant Other, Sleeping With Same, Lying to One's Self, Blaming God for One's Woes, Stealing Money From the Poor, and the rest of the 15 Commandments that were kept up to date from time to time on line. BJ hesitated for a minute, then quickly pressed on Number 7, 'Vague Thoughts of Doubting the Church's Laws.' Instantly, a list of possible absolutions that BJ had to choose from appeared on the monitor. Once again, for the hundredth time, she chose her favorite, 'Do Something Kind To Someone You Dislike.' Then the easily recognizable voice came out of the PC speaker, "My child, you are forgiven for this sin, but next time remember that in the Sacrament of Confession there is really no substitute for the physical presence of the Priest and the Penitent. Confession is a private bond and the computer can be public. Do not lose respect for the Old Ways of the Church. Goodness and Kindness and Reverence have not changed."
On the monitor, BJ walked out of the small white building, got in her car, and drove away. BJ felt better for the rest of the day, while planning her visit with the neighbor upstairs who pounds on the floor above her bed all night long.
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers