The Feint Saint

A Sorry Tale

I remember as a child being “forced” to apologise to someone for being rude.

I was in a bad mood and had ignored a cheery greeting as we were coming out of Mass. So I was “escorted” by my mother to the lady’s door. Of course, I apologised - there’s not much else to do when your mother is standing behind you.

Mammy said I have to say that I’m sorry.

I cleared my throat and said, “Mammy said I have to say that I’m sorry for ignoring you, even though she’s done it herself enough times. ”While being frog-marched home again, I gritted my teeth and wondered why I was still in trouble. I was more upset by that than anything else.

The willingness to be wrong has not come any easier to me in my adult years. 
But there is only one thing worse than having to say, “I’m sorry” when I’m in the wrong. And that is the seeming-cruel injustice of having to say it when I’m NOT in the wrong.

For some reason, apologising to that lady hadn’t put me back in my mother’s good books…  (Well, how was I supposed to know that she hadn’t meant me to quote her directly?)

But whether we are not at fault (or just THINK we are not at fault), I reckon there is only one way to break a stalemate. It’s the only way to move forward in the hope that tomorrow might be a little easier than yesterday.

Remember what happened in school - if no one owned up then everyone suffered the punishment. That’s what happens with disunity and disharmony. Everyone involved suffers – even though not everyone involved caused it.

Jesus Himself turned this whole thing on its head. He stayed silent when being wrongly accused. He took the blame when He was blameless.  He didn’t just take a random beating – He took a beating that I, MYSELF should have taken. 


The least I can do is let it go that my sister borrowed something from me and then lost it! What was it? Oh, I can’t remember, it was 30 years ago. Still though…