There were two options

It was an amazing experience. I waited 45 min to go into confession. I had to be at my meeting downtown in 30 min which is when the door opened for me to speak to Father. There were two options: the confessional where the priest can’t see you and the other where he can. I wanted to go to the confessional where the priest could not see me. I had not been to confession since I stopped drinking and the other time was years ago. I left the church. As luck would have it I ended up seeing the priest who was hearing confession face to face. As I walked in the door I told Father I had to go to a meeting because I’m an alcoholic so I would be quick. The irony in that was I had written a full-page of things I needed to tell someone that I had done and who better for me than a priest and it was going to take a while. When I sat down he pulled out his 24-year-sobreity chip. I believe I wrote in a previous Blog how the previous Thursday went, total desperation and despair. I was not in a good place emotionally and mentally, I thought I was going to lose my mind. That feeling carried over into Friday and into Saturday morning until I sat down and held the coin. Father told me he is an alcoholic and he got sober at the very place I was going next. I could not believe it. I told him that I feel like I want to die. He replied with, “I know.” And I looked at him with all the pain shouting from my eyes and reiterate, “No! I mean really die.” and again he replied with, “I know.” And I knew he knew. So we talked about AA. We talked about God. I told him how I am having a very hard time with God, given my past. He told me to fire the God I had and reinvent a new God. A God of love, compassion, understanding and forgiveness. I had heard that from people in AA, fire your God, but I though that sounded outrageous. I told read my list to him and when I was done, he said, “Wow, you are an alcoholic, we are all like that, it takes time to change.” I said my act of contrition and he gave me his card and told me I could call him anytime I am freaking out. As I was walking out he said, “Aren’t you glad you walked into the face to face confessional?!” My penance was to read some things in the Big Book. The fact that he knew what the Big Book was, was absolutely astonishing to me. That whole experience blew me away. Here is this little Irish priest, perhaps in his late 50’s who I have seen since I was a kid. He is a much beloved priest and I have always though he was a good man. And I just got out of confession having a discussion about being an alcoholic and he praised me on 64 days of sobriety and what a long time that 64 days is and he asked me what my drink of choice was. We had a real conversation and I felt real. I hope I will remember to thank God every day that I can for that time I had with Father. Changed my heart.

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