May the Lord give you His peace!
I hope this letter finds you well and at peace whenever you are. I am writing it to you for various reasons. I am not just writing on my own behalf, but primarily for Holy Mother Church, who desires you to come back into her fold. She has been patiently waiting for you to embrace the Catholic Faith once again or perhaps for the first time. Just so you know, many people have been praying for you to return every time Holy Mass is celebrated.
There may have been many reasons for your departure from the Church. Whatever they may be, I acknowledge that you may have a great pain from members of the Church. For some others, perhaps you may have received very poor catechetical instruction in the Faith when you were young. Some of you may have left the Catholic Church solely based on the sings of some of her ministers, who acted grievously. The list of reasons can go on.
First, let me apologize on behalf of Holy Mother Church for any hurt whether physical, emotional, psychological or sexual that any of her members whether clerical or laity have committed against you. I apologize if you were not taught the fullness of the Catholic Faith during your younger years. In so many places, the Catholic Faith has been not taught according to the teachings of the Church or perhaps the teachings have been watered down. I am so sorry for the poor instruction that you received. There are no excuses for some of the deviant behavior by some of the Church’s ministers and laity.
Perhaps some of you reading this are entrenched in a life of sin and immorality. You may be thinking that the sins you have committed are unforgivable and there is no way God could ever forgive you. Wherever you are at this moment in your life, God loves you immensely. He loves you so much that He desires to pull you out of the chaos that you are in. There is no sin or situation that God’s Mercy cannot unravel. You may think that you are so unlovable and cannot even imagine or comprehend a God of Love that loves you unconditionally. No matter how far you think you are away from the Lord, He is beckoning you at this moment! In reality, God has always been with you, even in the dark times of your life.
You may have no idea what to do next. You may be thinking, “I want to come back to the Catholic Church, but I don’t know how to go about it.” “What must I do first?” “I am so scared!” “There is no way I can confess my sins to another human being!” “What will my family and friends think of me?” The questions and/or excuses can go on and on.
I want to encourage you to find a Catholic Church in your area. Begin with making a visit to pray before the tabernacle, which houses the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. In the beginning it a seem very awkward, especially the silence. Ask the Lord to reveal His profound love for you and to make known your dignity as a child of God. Ask the Holy Spirit for help to make a serious moral inventory of your life, in other words, make a thorough examination of conscience. This may be quite frightening. I know. It is different for someone to see and/or admit their sins and weaknesses.
After you have taken a serious look at your life and are truly sorry for your sins and willing to make amends, contact a priest in your local area to hear your Confession. If you have a good Catholic friend, they may be able to help you find a priest. I realize that, making a good Confession after many years can be difficult and terrifying. The priest who hears your Confession is not going to scold you. On the contrary, he will be rejoicing to be the instrument that helps you to be reconciled to the Lord through the Sacrament of Penance. Be not afraid!
I want to close this letter by saying that wherever you are in your life, God has not forgotten about you. He desires you to be at peace and detached from a life of sin. Whatever you may have done, nothing is insurmountable with God’s help. He wants you to be free from the slavery of sin. Only in God will you find the source of true freedom, peace and happiness.
The whole Church is praying for you. Once you come back to embrace the Faith of the Church, your whole life will change for the better. Life will begin to make more sense. The things you struggle with now in your life will, with God’s help, be lessened. Jesus is waiting for you to receive His Mercy in the Sacrament of Penance, so He can feed you with His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.
Take 10 minutes to look and meditate on the Crucifix. Look at Him on the Cross. He is waiting for you with His arms outstretched in love and mercy. He did that for you! He is waiting to embrace you in the Confessional. Take the initiative! It will be the best decision you will ever make in life.