When people think of Lent, sometimes the word regret is quietly used, regret for the things people have done, regret for things that people have done, regret for things that people have said, regret for things that people didn’t say, regret for missed opportunities, regret for a whole multitudes of things.
It was interesting today to hear the homily at St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church in Houston. Lent is often seen with regret and as a terrible time of sacrifice and focused on pain and wrongs, when it’s the time to open (ready) yourself for the happy miracle of the reopening of heaven.
I watched the first episode of The Pacific, the latest World War II production from Steven Spielburg and Tom Hanks and there is so much pain. I read somewhere that many veterans of the Pacific War have been angry for years that their contributions to the War and for America have been overlooked by history, by the public, etc. And knowing what I know about the millions of male Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, amongst others who were drafted by the Japanese Imperial army, how do the veterans feel about those lives that were lost during the Pacific War? There was no way that they could have known those facts in the middle of the war, but as the years went by and more and more truths about the seemingly neverending human waves that the Imperial army seemed to have, how does that affect what they feel about their war experience.
There are always things that we could have done better, things we could have said, things that we could have held back, things that we shouldn’t have done, things that we should have done, etc. And sometimes I feel that I personally wallow too much in the past, in the regrets, and where does that really get me? I’ve often heard the saying of live life without any regrets, but what does that really mean? Life life as a hedonistic playground? Think of only yourself and of no one else’s. I don’t know the answer. I do know that no matter what you do, someone may like your choices and someone may not, it’s just the way life is and how it works. Once you’ve done it or said it, it’s the past, it’s a part of your history, and you can’t change it, maybe you can make up for it, but you can’t rewrite history, unless you win a war or create your own dictarship.