Today marks the 8th year since we returned to the faith of our youth in Emmaus, PA. Just like the two disciples on the Way to Emmaus, my eyes were opened to Jesus in the "breaking of the bread" while living in this small eastern Pennsylvanian town. Eight years ago today, I sat in front of my local parish priest and confessed 31 years of sins. It was no small task and I had a lot of anxiety and fear going into it. Face-to-face confession had not yet become in-vogue when I left the Church in 1973, so having to face the priest without a screen was difficulty for me. Thankfully, the priest was kind and humble and guided me through the process gently. When I was done he absolved me of my sins through the authority given to him through the Church by Christ himself (John 20:23). Though I am not a very emotive person, my eyes welled up with tears during the absolution and I had a very deep peace and comfort wash over me that I can't recall ever experiencing.
I then walked into the chapel and we had our marriage con-validated
(officially sacramentalized by the Church). We then both received the Eucharist for the first time in over 30 years and I heard
a still small voice
saying: "You have found what you have always been looking for and I am right here with you." I couldn't contain myself at this point and
began to quietly sob. Fortunately, the chapel was empty except for my
wife, the priest and two witnesses.
As I knelt and prayed after receiving Him, I knew that I could never be
closer to Him in this life than I was right then. The frustration of all
those years of searching for Him and trying to find him outside of His Church was over. I had finally come home.