Life is a series of cycles. The sun sets, the sun rises. We sleep, we wake up. We eat dead things to stay alive. We feel close to God, we feel removed. The one constant is God. And the mercy and forgiveness of God is more powerful than anything we could imagine. Despite the sins of the people, God is present. God forgives. We engage in acts of penance to help us to see more clearly the presence of God. And at those moments when God is clear, when the presence of God is close, we simply bask in the love God has for each one of us.