When I was in my teen years, I taught a Sunday School class for my pastor, the late Tom Harpur. He went on to become a well-known Christian theologian, and the Religion Editor of the Toronto Star. For my life, Reverend Harpur will be the person who once helped me cross a bridge of deep depression, and probably saved my life that night.
I remember walking to the church late one evening, about two miles from my house. I was suffering those restless moods that often accompany growth into adulthood. The reasons are not important; what is significant is that the church door was open with a light on. I went inside, knelt in a pew and found myself sobbing.
A few minutes later, my pastor walked in. He had some work to do in the church office, and he paused beside me. He asked if I would like to talk about things, and so we did.
I will never forget his listening ear, and the understanding he provided. The compassion he offered lifted my heart and renewed my hope. God had arranged that encounter, I am sure, as the darkness of my soul was dispelled. Later, a phone call to my father provided a ride back home; my parents were very happy I had chosen to go to the church that night.
I converted, and became a Roman Catholic about five years later, but I never forgot that Anglican pastor. All of us have dark moments, and how blessed we are that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available to us. Easter has passed and we know that Christ suffered and died for us to gain salvation.
Christ lives, and we can spend time with Him in adoration whenever we feel lonely, sad, or in need of direction. The hope that may have left our hearts can be found again through our prayers to Him.
At a recent mission the spiritual leader stated: “When you go to confession, everyone around you will benefit.” I had never thought about that reality, but it is true. When we have been reconciled with God, our smiles are a little wider and our attitudes improve. Frequent use of this Sacrament provides us with healthy souls and kinder hearts tuned into the needs of others.