If you could write a letter and heal a man two continents away, would you write the letter? If you could describe how a Priest stood by you as your child fought for their lives and offered you The Peace of Christ, with words, would you share them, in hopes of healing others? If you could offer encouragement to a Priest who ministered in Africa and was lonely and discouraged, and you lighten his load, would you write the letter? Submit online at www.letterstopriests.com
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Having little to lose, I accepted his number
I left the Church in 1975 as a 17 year old…for many of the worn out reasons people have left for centuries. In the end, it was mostly due to ignorance of what was ‘being left’.
Fifteen years later, I found myself a married father of three children, living a ‘relativistic life’: unhappy and in spiritual and emotional pain. My sister suggested I speak with a priest who had helped her. Having little to lose, I accepted his number. (The grace of my parent’s continuing prayers on my behalf enters here, in an unusual moment of openness…)
This priest was living life with a great deal of personal sanctity. In fact, I later learned some of his students called him ‘Father God’. ‘In Persona Christi’ was (and is) his mode of being. We didn’t speak about the faith and he didn’t attempt to convert me. Its hard to describe but the effect of his presence was penetrating, profound and immediate. Entering our first meeting a confirmed ex-Roman Catholic, I left that meeting with a changed heart. And so it came to be.
Almost 20 years later, I have been an extraordinary minister for some years. Now a conservative Catholic, having ‘colored outside the lines’ for a large part of my adult life, I know the pain of sin and its consequences. My wife and I have had our vows blessed and we have returned to full communion (with the faith). I know the Catholic faith as it proceeds from the Seat of Peter is true because He who deposited that faith is Truth itself. I know this in my head. Perhaps more importantly, I know this also in my heart, which now belongs to Him.
I thank God often for that priest; called to an extraordinarily high level of sanctity, he answers that call everyday at 4:21am as he rises to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
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