My coworkers wanted to celebrate my divorce like I had just been set free from a POW camp. They were almost congratulating me for the failure of my marriage. On the outside I would humor them by going along with them, but inside I was dazed and confused. Here I was “single” again and totally unprepared for what that meant. Little did I know the rocky and winding path I would find myself on. My life was anything but easy as I tried to navigate the demands of a single parent, an ex-spouse, and life as a divorced Catholic. What I found is that I was constantly tempted to pursue and “live-up” my new single life like my coworkers and friends had expected. I didn’t want to disappoint them. It seemed they knew something I didn’t that gave them reason to be so happy for me. I just hadn’t quite figured out what that was, but boy was I trying. That meant dating, sexual intimacy, and late nights as I worked hard at living it up. Along with this pleasure seeking lifestyle came the day-to-day demands of raising three kids on my own, and trying (and usually failing) to work with my ex. Let’s just say that I was often not the most pleasant, or patient, person to be around.
Each time I would be sexually active, or be impatient with my kids, or fight with my ex, I was failing to be the follower of Christ that I professed to be. I fell short. Each sin was like mud being thrown on the windshield. It became harder and harder to see that I was getting further and further off track with where God was calling me to be. It happened so gradually, that it took a while before I realized my life was headed off a cliff. Navigating my life was like trying to drive with a frost covered windshield. I had no idea what I was doing, or where I was going. My sin blinded me to promptings and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Only by God’s grace and His constant pursuit did I finally crash–right into a very loving and patient priest named Fr. John. Primarily through the power of reconciliation, Fr. John wiped the mud off my windshield allowing me to see clearly where I was going and helping me get my life back on the right road. Each time I would weave and careen my way back into the confessional, I would emerge with a clean soul and a clear view of where I needed to go. I am not sure if Fr. John ever realized just how fundamental he was to saving my life and restoring my hope. My prayer for you is that you have–or find–a Fr. John to help keep your windshield clean.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way. – Mark 10:51-52