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Mal's Hard Landing
The place is Ireland, 1962. For the Galvin family,1962 is a bad year when their son Mal, a new priest leaves for permanent assignment to California. Darby, their other son has fled to England to escape the law, and Celine, their younger daughter is in trouble with a philandering boyfriend. With their father's help failing, it's up to Mal's mother and their other daughter to save the day.
Celine goes to Confession
Mal arrives to his new church and a boss who specializes in chewing up young priests like Mal in short order. It's a bad scene for which the gullible young priest is totally unprepared and soon heading for disaster. Certain interventions occur to help even the playing field for the young priest whose survival depends on the biggest decision of his life. Back in Ireland, the stakes are no less high if Mal's family is also to survive.
"Bless me Father for I have sinned." Never in her whole life had Celine thought about the true meaning of those words: but now as the confessional slide flew back, she really began to think about them. Because, right there along with her sin was that awful slutty feeling that had been plaguing her for the past while. At first, she thought it would pass and that she'd get over it eventually. But every time she passed a church or saw a nun on the street, the same wave of guilt washed over her about the slut she had become.....
Until eventually the truth hit her that she'd never know peace again until she first made everything right with God...
And then after an eternity, she heard the sound of the other slide being closed followed by some muffled honking like his nose was all stuffed up before her slide suddenly flew back. "May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips..." Lord did he have to sound so intense on this one and only occasion that she ever had anything really bad to confess? And, for God's sake, why did his nose have to bounce up and down against the cloth on the other side of the grill? Come on now, Celine. Stick with what's important here. I'm sure the man has listened a thousand times to the kind of thing you're about to confess, so then,don't be wasting the man's time and tell him straight out what you did.
But, the habits of a lifetime are hard to break, and especially so for someone in such a tight spot as Celine, and so, like she always did, she began with the small stuff--plenty of small stuff just to get into the flow of things. Behind the cloth the nose was moving up and down understandingly. Then Celine stopped for a moment because her mouth was all dry and just like that the nose went still. He was an old hand, of course, and knew all the signs. Somewhere back there after all the piffle, a bomb was on the way. So he waited ever so patiently. And sure enough, his instincts had been right and his patience rewarded. Because, right after telling him she was still fighting distractions in her prayers, there came that telling pause followed by a cough that might even have been a sob. This was it. The nose against the cloth was still as a retriever's on point...