Wednesday, March 31, 2010

confess [kuhn-fes]
to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation; to own or admit as true
Synonyms include: admit, affirm, attest, declare
The church was dim, light visible only from small corners and shrines filled with candles aglow. I stood in one of many lines, well behind a dozen or so of people, who all seemed to be doing what I was doing - making a mental list of sins.
Every Lenten and Advent season, churches have penance services. On these evenings, a tiny collection of priests from neighboring parishes, gather to hear confessions from every person who, for all intents and purposes, seek bona fide forgiveness from God. There are regular confession hours every week, but of course there have to be penance services for people like me who never make the time to go. If there was such a thing as an Easter resolution, going to confession regularly would be mine.
"Bless me, father, for I have sinned," I began.
"When did you make your last confession," Fr. John asked.
"Before last Easter," I whispered rather shamefully.
"Alright then," he said. "What are your sins?"
In that moment, I fell silent. I couldn't believe it. All I did in line for almost an hour was create a short presentation of all my faults. It felt, honestly, like preparing for an audition. I was almost waiting to answer to, "Anna Lissa Gonda, for the role of sinner?" But when finally summoned, I couldn't remember a thing. I'm sure it was only a 5-second long momentary lapse, but it felt like an eternity of dumbfoundedness. Finally, as if possessed by a second wind, I let it all out and Fr. John was kind enough to listen so intently, that he took the time after my unloading to go over every sin.
It was like getting a graded paper back and then sitting down with the professor to discuss all the sections marked in red. We talked about praying the rosary, the importance of placing God first in our lives and lastly, the monumental task of forgiveness.
"It's never easy to forgive someone who hurt us," Fr. John said reassuringly. "So if you just can't get yourself to do it, then at least let God know that you want to, and that you need help getting there."
Aaaah, asking for help...from God. Was there ever a simpler solution for keeping yourself from sin?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

potential [puh-ten-shuhl]
possible, as opposed to actual; capable of being or becoming; expressing possibility
Synonyms include: aptitude, capability, promise
I've been busy; and when I'm not busy, I've allowed myself to be lazy. There's no use in lying because, truly, that's why I've neglected this poor blog, relegating it to mere birthday greetings and YouTube posts. No, I don't hate blogging. But with the advent of Twitter and Facebook, I admit, I've displaced random thoughts elsewhere because I know this blog deserves more than 10-word entries. It deserves an actual train of processed thought so, here goes...
I haven't stopped writing. In fact, since last September, I've actually been writing more often and more consistently since my last UCLA Extension class let out about two years ago. Aside from contributing to our company newsletter (which is really awesome because I get to interview people in the company who I don't interact with regularly), I've also been part of something that lets me combine two things that I love: writing and the Lakers. =)
Before basketball season started last fall, The Lakers Nation blog announced that it was searching for new bloggers/writers for the revamped website. I glanced at the opportunity for a hot second when Chris brought my attention to it, but being the doubtful me, I thought about it but said, Oh why would they want me to write for their site? Thankfully, some really supportive friends said, Just send a writing sample in and see what happens. You never know!
So, long story short, I sent in a sample that I wrote about the Lakers coaching staff, then got a call from one of the guys who run the site, just to chat about my favorite team, and next thing I know, I've got my very own drop down on the website. BenchMob Beat - I chose to dedicate my posts about the Lakers Bench.
A few months into the season, I was asked to be the back-up post-game recapper/analyst. After games, if the main recapper couldn't do the post-game write-up, I was basically his stand-in. Taking notes as I watched a game - that was new. Haha! Writing my own reactions to the game, how the team played, how they could've played better, etc, it was all me speaking to other Laker fans who frequent the site, and basically inviting them to either agree or argue with my opinion. It's such an interesting forum of fans (and friends) who log on because we all have one thing in common: we're Laker fans.
Since then, I've been asked to be the main post-gamer and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't flattered or happy to do it. It's a voluntary gig, yes, but you know what? I don't even care. It's one of the funnest and most fulfilling projects I've done in a long time. And it always feels good to attain something on your own worth, your own potential, your own desire to find a way to do what gives you purpose.
So, hopefully this is the first of many posts to come because, of course, life is not all about the Lakers and basketball. It's about so much more; and with so much more to life, how could I decline the opportunity to put in my 2 cents...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010