“No” Mom said, “don’t you ever talk about a Catholic Priest.”
You lift them high and pray for them; an Ave in the least!”
“Oh fine.” I muttered to myself and headed for the door.
Our parish priest was such a grump, so harsh, and quite the bore!
Now here it was a Saturday; confessions start at three.
Oh man, I hoped it’d not be him who would be hearing me.
But when in the confessional, his words were kind yet strong.
With compassion, love, and mercy, he absolved me from my wrongs.
With humbled heart and sin free soul, my penance I had prayed.
But just as I began to leave, I felt the need to stay.
As I sat down in the shadows, alone there in the church,
A sudden noise behind me made my body give a lurch!
My priest had dropped a kneeler then knelt on it to pray.
His body bent with burden as his sobbing just gave way!
My parish priest was crying, and just like a child he seemed,
Not the harsh and grumpy man whom I had so wrongly deemed.
Just then a light surrounded him; a shadow I could see.
Was that a man or angel, standing there in front of me?
As I peered into the darkness, it all became quite clear.
It was Jesus who was standing there who wiped away his tears.
His hands upon his shoulders, Jesus whispered “Son, now rest”,
And Father sank against His heart, his head upon Christ’s chest.
Then while Jesus stood behind him, He turned and looked my way.
“This is my Priest, one of my sons, of whom I ask you pray.”
His words were barely spoken when he disappeared from sight.
With a peaceful look on Father’s face, his burden now seemed light.
When Father stood he saw me there and gave a nod and smiled.
But as he left I knelt again, to pray for him awhile.
~ Donna Sue Berry ~
July 23rd, 2012