While we can encounter GOD at many different times in our lives, one memorable encounter for me was in the Sacrament of Reconciliation many years ago. I was in my last year of law school and had been recognizing GOD's pull on my heart to go to Confession. At that point, I hadn't been to Confession for over 10 years. It was a struggle for me to go because it had been so long, and I hadn't been exactly living a life of virtue over that time.
Though I didn't realize it, GOD was gently and patiently leading me to that point through several different circumstances. While I resisted along the way, He kept pursuing me. After several months, I finally, though GOD's grace, went to Confession.
Because it had been so long, I didn't even remember what to say and had to research it before going, which also led me to make a very thorough examination of my conscience. When entering the confessional, GOD simply didn't say, "Good luck, I'll see you when you're done." Rather, I felt His presence with me throughout the entire Confession.
During my Confession, I was nervous, ashamed, and embarrassed. As a result, I spoke so softly that the priest patiently asked me to speak up several times because he couldn't hear me. Even in my doubt and embarrassment, the LORD gave me the strength to make an honest and complete Confession. After hearing the beautiful words of absolution from the priest, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. However, it was more than just a feeling. I had directly encountered GOD's infinite love and mercy for me at that moment. Though it is difficult to fully describe, it revived my whole life and my inspiration to grow closer to GOD. I had peace and clarity again about my path in life. I suddenly had more hope about my future and my relationship with GOD, and that has continued to this day, particularly during the times that I fall.
Wherever you are in your journey, ask GOD to open your hearts to receive His mercy and love not just through going to Confession, but in every aspect of your lives.
May GOD Bless You,
Michael R. Sarno