I wanted to write to you to tell you about an incident I had with a Priest, and I cannot reveal his name. It has to do with two Priests at a reconciliation service. I heard these two Priests speak about reconciliation in the pulpit and then it caused this particular Church to be packed with people for reconciliation at Easter time. (Which never happens) I have never seen a Church so full for Reconciliation. I have written 53 letters to Diocesan Priests so far.
I know this is a lot, however it was such a revelation to me about what happened to me in confession, I had to share it.
A family member was staying with me for one month. This person moved here and bought a home in another city, so he stayed with me during that time.
In the course of the month he was very mean to me. I was doing everything I could for him washing his clothes making him breakfast, lunch, dinner, watching the dog; he has a dog. But when he was mean to me, I would run. I'm sure you've heard of the fight-or-flight theory. While I tend to be more passive and non-confrontational, I would run to a friend’s house and we would pray.
For a couple years I've asked God to give me the heart and mind of Christ and I think it's going along well but when he was mean to me, I had bad thoughts about him and it was bothering me. That was not the mind of Christ that I desired, so I thought I better go to confession. So I went to confession.
I told the Priest how my brother was treating me. And he stopped everything he took off his glasses and he said this: "Oh my my, how much pain __________ must be in, to not be able to accept the hospitality that you so freely give". I was expecting him to sympathize with me but at that moment I knew I was sitting with Christ. Jesus gave me a glimpse into God's heart and how he looks at people especially those that don't treat us right. I was in awe. __________ is a very bitter man and has never forgiven our Mother for leaving us when we were very young, which threw us into some horrible circumstances.
Then for my Penance Father said "You must accept __________" I said "Father I'd rather do 30 rosary's, at least I know I could do that, but I was unsure of my feelings because many times our reactions are not something that we think about.
So when I left there, I was wrestling with God like Jacob did. I was going back and forth and talking to him and telling him how I felt and then these thoughts kept coming into my mind and then I realized I was actually having a conversation with God. Finally something moved in my spirit and I said "Okay God I will do it with your Grace I will I will I will accept him".
When I got home, I kindly, quietly and with Love said to him "You will not treat me like this in my house"
Then everything changed. I did not have to do anything. He was nice to me the rest of his time with me. We talked about Jesus on a couple of occasions. It was then that I realized all I had to do was turn my will over to the Father's.
Then that next morning when I was in prayer I had kind of a mental vision and I saw the outline of a group of people with no faces and inside them were lines and Roads and mazes and strange figures and numbers. In the center of each human was a light and the Lord made me understand this.
He said "you are having a human experience and the goal is to become one with the light who is the 'Holy Spirit of God'. Each person takes a different path depending on their life circumstances and experiences, so what is right for one person may not be right for another person. Since I'm a passive person and tend not to confront; for me that was a healing thing for me to do and if I were a more aggressive personality the appropriate thing would have been different. After that a few days later as I would reflect and meditate on what happened that day in reconciliation he showed me something very astounding.
He made me understand, that every sin must have a resolution it must have a resolution and since He knew what we would do, he made that resolution the cross and Jesus. When Jesus was on the cross, all the sins that were committed before He died and all the sins that are committed until the end, were gathered together and with a mighty force were slammed on our Lord and the suffering he endured cannot be imagined, it was so horrible. When we sin and we go to confession Jesus Takes that sin and takes it to the cross. Catholics have reconciliation and non-Catholics have the scripture that tells them and I quote "Confess your faults one to another so that you may be healed". But the Lord said that people have fallen away and have not been going to confession. (Mercy waits for confession). I know sometimes i feel the repercussion of my sins and sometimes I do not. That is something that works on principles I don't understand.
Then the Lord showed me there's a law of physics involved in what he's showing me that with every action there's a reaction so if I do something kind for somebody, it ripples across the land kind of like the 'Butterfly effect' and when people sin, the same thing happens it's a Rippling effect of evil and the more people fall away the darker the times get and these sins rise up like giant waves and then because there is no resolution for those sins tragedies fall upon the people and the people who are not confessing are consumed by them. (We are experiencing great tragedies in the world today)
I know there is more to it that what I am saying, however this was my experience. It has changed me forever, I look at people differently. I no longer look at them as cruel people, (only broken people in pain) my encounter at Reconciliation changed my life.
I wish everyone knew the underlying reason for reconciliation and the consequences of avoiding it.
The rest of the story is:
When I go to confession, I should not dwell on being sorry for offending God. He said he already knows I am sorry. He made me understand that when I confess, I am to confess the harm I did to the other person. How I missed the opportunity to send love and healing to him. To confess that I did not look at the person with God’s Heart and eyes. Then, I will have accomplished a true reconciliation. This will in time change my actions with people who annoy me or who are mean to me. Then my intercession for others will be more powerful.
Thank you for challenging us in the pulpit, we need your direction and more of it.
Thank You, Cheryl Langford