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by: Matthew Cox
June 5
St. Patrick's

Matt crossed himself. This ritual had been too long in coming. It wasn’t just a ritual, though. This was a part of him, a part of who he was. The connection to God was a lifeline when everything else had been severed. The past, both long distant and recent, had a hold on him that necessitated that he hold tighter to his faith. Mi:5 was in ruins, the Hounds in ruins because of a series of events that started with him. The firebomb effect was supposedly from Cora’s gear self-destructing. Matt had his suspicions...still...Arson detection specialists likely wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the source. Instead, the conclusion would be one that Matt himself could draw: The attack was one of terrorism. With that assumption, it wasn’t hard to assume that he would be laid on the altar as the sacrifice of blame. On top of the explosion, there was his attack on the Mi:5 operation that had landed him and Cora in the holding cells. His hands weren’t clean, Matt would be the first to admit that. As a result, he turned to the church and to his faith.

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

A whisper of cloth and paper on the other side of the confessional told Matt that the priest had opened his Bible.

”May the Lord be in your heart and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow. ‘For with you, there is forgiveness, and because of your law, I persevered in his word.’”

Matt took a deep breath and began.

”Father, forgive me. It’s been three months since my last confession. I-I allowed a woman to take influence over me and lead me down a path of darkness. Not just carnal sins, but…”

Matt sighed. How did he explain Cora? Yes, he was attracted to her, but it wasn’t only a sexual sin that he’d committed.

”Sins of violence, Father. She…we…” Matt blew a breath out and snarled silently at the words that were reluctant to pass his lips. I hurt people. I allowed her to commit a terrible act of terrorism and destruction. I let her kill people without trying to stop her. I’ve justified acts of violence through her encouragement and have passed judgments that weren’t mine to pass. I’ve cut people out of my life and hurt them. Father, I want to hurt the woman who influenced me, I want to make sure she never hurts anyone again…however necessary.”

The priest’s breathing was steady and calm. His heart rate had increased, but Father Donahue was a seasoned priest and pastor. Matt swallowed and continued.”I hate that I’v e nursed this grudge against this woman, and I regret hurting my friends. I want to find my way back from this road of darkness and sin.”

It hurt him so badly to think of the damage he’d caused under Cora’s control and by his own choices. Bashar was in the hospital in critical condition. Others, too, had to be taken in for medical treatment because of Matt’s indiscretion.

”Son, you must master the violence within you or be mastered by it. Be careful of the influences you allow in your life. I want you to reconcile to your friends…and forgive your enemies. Pray for this woman. She is a lost soul who belongs to the Lord. Pray for her salvation, my son. And forgive yourself. I would also like for you to make an act of contrition.”
Matt automatically began the prayer, feeling a sense of peace from the words.

”O, my God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong, and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with the help of your grace, to do penance and to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His Name, O Lord, have mercy.”

”God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

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