May I share a story with you?
March 8, 2021 | Fr. Claude Lombardo, MC
The season of Lent, as you know, is an incredibly busy time for us priests. I have been traveling all over, from Argentina where I met with our Superior General, to apostolate work, specifically many retreats. It was traveling back from one of these retreats, this one in Waco, Texas, that I got to experience God’s grace in action in a deeper way.
Flying back home after an event in Texas, from Austin to Denver, there was a young guy, I’d say in his 20’s, seated next to me. I noticed that he had a passport in his hands from South America, so naturally my curiosity was piqued. The headphones on his head made a conversation next to impossible, or so I thought…
This young man was in his own world, listening to music while on his phone. However, as soon as the plane began to take off, he got nervous and asked me in English, “Is that noise normal?” He was scared. Seeing how scared and uncomfortable he was, I answered in Spanish: “No worries. It’s totally normal.” And with that we started a conversation.
He is Catholic but not practicing – he did not have much formation. But what I found so moving, so important and endearing were the questions he asked me. He asked me many questions, first general questions about the faith, and then much more personal questions, actual spiritual direction questions. We talked almost the whole flight. One of the main topics was confession. He had not gone to confession since his first Holy Communion. I honestly believe that he didn’t know what – or “Who” – Communion is. After explaining to him that God forgives everything – His perfect Mercy is unending – and what a sad thing it is to live in mortal sin having the opportunity of being friends with God, he told me: “Thank you so much, Father. I’ve learned many important things today. I will go to confession.” What a grace our Lord gave me on that flight!
I do not know if this young man has gone to confession yet. I can “only” hope that he will act on the graces our Lord poured out during that 3-hour flight. And I can pray while I hope. Will you join me in praying for this young man? Our Lord can use any situation in any circumstance… we just have to be ready….
For His Church,
Fr. Claude, MC
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