Thursday, December 3, 2009
To Sin or Not to Sin? (18)
Once Mauricia regained her thoughts after seeing Francisco, she walked back to La Iglesia del Carmen where she met with Padre Vicente about teaching on the weekends. Unfortunately, Padre Vicente had plenty of people assisting him in religion classes and Mauricia was disappointed. "Is there anything I can help with aside from the classes?" asked Mauricia. At this point she needed to get out of the house and find a distraction from Francisco and the confines of the house. "Senorita Delgado, I will inquire within the church and see if your services can be utilized elsewhere." responded Padre Vicente. "Thank you padre, I will return in a week to check again." Mauricia graciously answered as she kissed his ring finger out of respect.
Upon her arrival to the house a letter was waiting for her on the kitchen table. Mauricia's cousin, Estella, was coming in from Zacatecas to stay for a month. Mauricia appreciated Estella as she understood Mauricia's yearning about her past and her extended family. Mauricia and Estella were never very close but Estella always provided some information about her family or background when she had found some new information. Estella was a free spirit who was several years older than Mauricia. She had long black and gray hair which she wore in a braid with brightly colored ribbons. Mauricia admired Estella as she was not afraid to get up and venture to unknown places. Mauricia called her "La Gitana" (the gypsy).
As Mauricia folded Estella's letter and placed it in her pocket another thought came to her mind. "What is going on with Carlos? I haven't heard from him since the move and the last letter he sent indicated he was on his last year of service in the military." Teresa ran into the room and hugged Mauricia's leg, "Mama!" "Did you enjoy yourself at the Plaza? asked Mauricia. "Si! Uncle Miguel bought me peanuts and we fed the birds seeds. There was a lot of birds mama!" Teresa explained as her little hands motioned frantically showing Mauricia the extent of birds at the plaza. Mauricia picked up Teresa and took her to the kitchen to get dinner ready.
A couple of days later Mauricia could not stop thinking about her encounter with Francisco. She was angry at herself for not being able to forget him and continue with her life. "I am going to the church for a confession. This is worrying me so much I cannot concentrate on my responsibilities." Mauricia told herself as she was brushing her hair. She dressed Teresa and headed out of the house by mid-morning to the closest church by the house.
"Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been one month since my last confession." Mauricia began at the confessional while Teresa sat on the pew next to her. "What brings you to confession my daughter?" answered the anonymous priest behind the screen. By now Mauricia wanted to remain anonymous as the situation with Francisco had perplexed her so much she did not want anyone to know. She felt if anyone was aware, especially her brothers, they would not approve and give her a hard time. "Father, I still have feelings for a married man. I know it is a sin but our relationship was interrupted by another woman who married him while he was close to death." Mauricia blurted out and held her breath anticipating the priest's response. "Well... If he is married there is nothing else to say my child." he responded. "I understand, but can I explain what happened in order for you to understand my situation and help me put my thoughts in order?" begged Mauricia. "I will pray 200 rosaries if I can have a moment of your time to hear my story and tell me if I am wrong or what I need to do." Mauricia blurted. Nothing came from the other side of the screen for almost 10 seconds, then a sigh came out and said, " I will entertain your thoughts and will give you the best advice I am able to provide through the help of our Lord. I must request we meet in my office as this may take longer than the confessional permits." Mauricia was content with anything at this point and followed the priest to the back of the church in a small office behind the altar.
Mauricia began to tell her story to the priest. Thirty minutes into the conversation the priest gets up and tells her, "My child, I feel you have suffered tremendously in the lifetime you have experienced to this time. What keeps you motivated to continue?" Mauricia did not fully comprehend his question but to the best of her ability responded, "Well, I keep hoping and praying I will have a good seat in heaven waiting for me. I've certainly been through enough and when it is time for me to go I will follow." The priest chuckled and accepted her response as he sat back down. "Now, you say Francisco had paperwork indicating he was coerced into marriage under duress?" asked the priest. "Yes, he indicated he had paperwork and was in the process of a divorce." Mauricia confirmed. "You are aware this is a difficult task to accomplish through the church young lady? Are you willing to wait and go through the time it will take to get this done? I am not approving you to live in sin. I am only explaining this will not be an easy feat. This will not be completed in a year or so, we are dealing with the Catholic Church, and there are several steps that need to be approved." Mauricia sat in the chair wringing her handkerchief and said, "I am now aware this will be a great deal of time and work involved to accomplish. Thank you for explaining the steps and reality of Francisco's situation to me." Mauricia kissed the priest's ring finger and began to leave his office with Teresa in tow when he said, "my child, if you ever need to talk again please come back." Mauricia smiled, nodded her head, turned around and headed out the door.