I Am Here for You

Nauseous from feelings of fear, depression, loneliness, and betrayal, I sat alone in the church 300 miles from where I used to call home. How did I reach this point at the age of fifty-five? I was now divorced for the second time, and I had moved to be near my daughter, leaving behind my family and long time friends. I felt so alone. I had been betrayed, and that left a pit in my stomach and a pain in my heart. I wondered if I would ever be free of the ache.

I was early for Mass, sitting in a back pew seeing nothing but darkness and shadows. Slowly the lights illuminated the church as time for Mass was approaching. The church was now bright and I looked up, my eyes going straight to the image of the risen Christ on the cross behind the altar.

Suddenly, I felt Jesus say to me, "Let me hold you in my arms, I am here for you, it will be okay." His outstretched, welcoming arms beckoned me; He was there for me, and I was not alone. My heart stopped aching, but I was still unsure of what to do next with my life and not sure what could be salvaged. I went through the motions of Mass with my eyes fixed on the risen Christ image.

My answer came during the Our Father. As I prayed, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," I heard the words deep in my soul. I knew I needed to go to confession and that I needed the sacrament of reconciliation to renew my life. As I left Mass, I felt this was something I could actually do to help the way I was feeling and to get back on the right track in life.

Throughout the next week, I planned and prayed as I prepared to receive the sacrament of reconciliation the following Saturday afternoon. I asked myself several questions. What would I say? Could I get through the confession with no tears? Would the priest think I was the failure I knew I was?

It had been a few years since I had been to confession, and I was not sure of the procedure in my new parish. Plus, I was not comfortable with face-to-face confession. As a cradle Catholic, I preferred the anonymity of the way it was when I first celebrated the sacrament of penance

Saturday arrived and I sought out the newly ordained Father Russ to hear my confession face-to-face. I was very nervous, and he was very calming. As I proceeded, we talked and he consoled and reassured me. I said an act of contrition, received absolution, and said my penance. Afterwards, I felt a relief that I had not experienced in years. I knew I was okay, that things would work out, and that God was there for me always.

There are no words to describe the internal feeling that comes over me now when I think of that special moment of spiritual rebirth. I am so thankful that I made use of the sacrament of reconciliation that day. It helped me rebuild my life and my faith. I am now comfortable with face-to-face reconciliation and make use of this special sacrament frequently.

Cathy A. Bloom Brownsburg, Indiana