Something Amazing is Happening at St. Mary's
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday May 28, 2023
Something truly amazing has been happening over the past two weeks. Even though I’ve been a priest for over ten years now, thanks be to God, I have never seen anything like it. One after another, almost like a holy assembly line, people have been coming to confession after decades away from the Church. Son and daughters of God are coming to the stuffy, little, carpeted confessional that we have at St. Mary’s parish, after twenty, thirty, forty, and over sixty years of living in spiritual darkness. It’s the constant amount of people that are coming that is shocking. It’s as if they all got together one day and decided to come at the same time. If you’ve had to wait in the confession line recently for a long time, let me take this opportunity to apologize for any inconvenience. When these souls return to Christ, a priest is wise to take his time and gently listen as they pour out the deepest, most shameful secrets of their lives.
This influx of people coming back to the practice of their Catholic faith through the confessional is revealing one obvious, glorious fact – the Holy Spirit is moving! It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that is moving the hearts of men and women to return the God who is all mercy and all loving. This day, the Church celebrates the moment when Jesus Christ sends us this Spirit as we heard in the Scripture readings: “On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst…. He breathed on them and said to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (Cf. John 20: 19-23). This same Holy Spirit was given to us when we were baptized; for most of us, it was when we were just infants. Then, when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation, the gifts of the mighty Holy Spirit that transformed the cowardly, fearful disciples into warriors of Christ, suddenly went boldly proclaiming Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world. You and I have the same Spirit, right now, pulsating through our very bodies and souls.