It’s not easy to face the priest the morning after the confession. I have not been a good Catholic since my conversion three years ago. Depression gets in the way in all areas of life. It ruins relationships, career, health, and so on. Leading a good religious life is extremely hard. In every depressive episode, I get to a point where I cannot function at all in the job field, or maintain family and social life. There comes a time where I cannot even get out of bed, or have no will to open my eyes when I wake up.
Now that I am healed, I center my life strictly around God. He saved me from my mental illness. I would do anything the Holy Spirit directs me to do. I am an eager God-pleaser.
So by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I went to make a confession. My last confession was in Hawaii, two years ago. Shocking, I know. Here I appear, at the new parish I just started attending facing the priest. He knows nothing about me and I am trying to be as brief as I can about how I ended up there in the reconciliation room in tears.
“I got divorced due to my depression years ago before my conversion. The Lord has been healing me and recently, just recently, I came to realize that I harbored deep anger at my ex-husband for the way the things went for us, and especially my mental illness. I came to confess my grave sin.”
I tried to be rational but I could not hide the deep grief welling up in my heart remembering the pure love we held for each other once. I also felt immense compassion, overwhelming love, and endless grace coming from God. That heavy weight I sensed when I walked into the confession room was being lifted off swiftly. As my eyes met the warm gaze of the priest, I felt God’s forgiveness pouring through covering me with such peace.
I immediately went out for a run after I got home. I felt light and clear of all distractions, worries, and sadness. About 20 minutes in, some drops of rain started to fall. I did not turn around. I kept running to my usual turning point, a big house with big fencing around its brick walls. There hangs a sign that says “ABBEY” on the fence. I like abbeys. That’s why I insist on running to that fence everyday. As soon as I made my turnaround, the drops of rain turned into the biggest shower I have seen in a while. I got drenched in the rain in seconds. All the passing drivers were probably mocking me, thinking, ‘ there goes a crazy runner in the rain!’ but I was far from being crazy. As a matter of fact, I felt healthier than ever physically, mentally, and spiritually. I knew that God was pouring down rain for the final cleansing. He was washing me clean from sin. I was being born anew again!
The morning after the confession and the crazy run in the rain, I was back at the Mass. I was surprised when the special prayer for the mentally ill was being recited during the Mass. I took it more personally than I probably should have, and let my tears fall freely in public again. I was so moved by what I was witnessing. I felt like my healing was God’s top priority at the moment.
Upon leaving the church, I approached the reverend. I felt a closer sentiment towards him like we have shared some secrets. “Good morning, dear.” He greets me as if talking to a small child. “Thank you, monsignor! Have a good day!”
After what I had experienced during the last two days, I knew I would have more than a good day.
I would have a good life.