Literally me at Confession today.
I woke up feeling like crap yesterday. I think it finally hit me. The wrongness of what I did. I went to Mass yesterday at the hospital. And then went to St. Jude’s Shrine to just pray. The first words out of my mouth was a whispered, “I’m sorry” in between my sobs. I read the booklet I got from the VA chapel months ago, “God understands When You feel Overwhelmed with Guilt.” I also read Psalm 51, the Psalm of David after he went to Bathsheba – which was amazingly flagged already in the Bible. (Good job, past Nella!) I read so many passages about forgiveness, about guilt, about remorse. I could not stop crying. I was so ashamed to be in the House of God. I didn’t deserve to be there. And all I could think of was that He probably already has forgiven me. But It’s going to take a long time for me to forgive myself. And it will probably take some time, too, for Stephen to forgive me. I just felt so broken. All I could think of was, how did I let it go this far? How did I stray so far from God?
The entire time, it felt like the guilt was going to consume me. I felt dirty, and remorseful, and anxious. You know that feeling when you were younger and you were home alone? And you accidentally break something, like a nice vase or your mom’s nice china? And all you can do is sit there and let the guilt and anxiety kill you, waiting for your parents to go home so you can finally be punished? I was wishing that God would just punish me already. Like how my dad would hit me with a belt when I was younger. At least it would ease the guilt and the wrongness of what I did.
I could not get myself together. I hated myself and what I did. I couldn’t stop crying. When I finally felt exhausted, which was about after an hour, this nice lady came up to me and said, “It’s going to be ok. St. Jude has helped us in the past before and he will do it again. Everything is going to be ok.” All I could do was nod my head, as more tears came.
What a wonderful human being. What a wonderful manifestation of God’s love.
I then left and went to the library to study.
Then today, I went to Confession. I think The priest thought I was maybe rushing through it, but really, all I wanted to do was get to the main reason why I was at Confession. And this was probably the best Confession I’ve ever had. I always say, if you are not loving Confession, you’re probably doing it wrong. It always feels like a really, really good shower.
This is what I remember him saying to me:
“What is done is done. What is broken is broken. But not only does God know how to forgive, but He also has the power to heal. He already has forgiven you. But you also have to let Him heal you. To put you back together. And don’t let yourself be consumed in anger and hatred and guilt. Yes, these things can lead to repentance. But don’t punish yourself with these things, not more than what’s necessary. Relationships are broken, your innocence is broken, you might feel even broken. But God can fix all that. Today’s Gospel is about the person who couldn’t walk and was brought to Jesus. They broke down the roof and the ceiling to get to Jesus. They lowered him down to Him and when Jesus saw him, He didn’t only heal him physically, but he also forgave his sins. He completely healed him. He saw his faith and He gave him more than what he asked for. What is done is done. We’re sinners. But as long as you try to keep your life in faith, that’s what matters to God. So don’t dwell on this. Forgive yourself, because God has forgiven you.” Fr. Peter Sticco
God has been nothing but good to me. And I continue to disappoint me. I can be a better person. I WAS a better person, before all this. I don’t want to be like this anymore.
And on my way home, who do I bump into? No seriously, guess. Andrew Fausto. The light in the darkness. Constantly proving that he’s the light in the darkness for me. Going on two years now. I was debating on whether or not I should talk to him about all this. But I chickened out. I figured he was busy, or had stuff to do, or whatever lame excuse I came up with. And of course, God still throws him my way. I haven’t seen this guy in months, and we just randomly bump into each other? That exact moment, at that exact street corner? God has a funny sense of humor.
“So, really, how have you been?”
“These past few days have been…. “
“Everything ok? What’s going on?
“I just need some prayers. Say a prayer for me, would you?”