User Rating: 4 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Inactive

I woke up that day with an unusual anxiety that made tingles spread from my hands to my feet. The truth is, I felt a bit exposed at the idea of meeting with a priest. I had never had an encounter with one before, and, as we all know, there are terrible stories of those depraved individuals who abuse children.

Although I tried not to let those thoughts dominate my mind, the reality was undeniable. Upon arriving at the church, a strange sense of peace and holiness filled the air. Catholic churches are adorned with impressive detail. I sat and waited, contemplating the statues that seemed to judge me with their stony eyes, as if they could see every mistake I had made in my life.

Finally, Father Mateo arrived. I had expected him to dress traditionally, in a cassock and collar, but to my surprise, he was wearing jeans and a blue shirt. The gray in his hair gave the impression that he had accumulated great wisdom over the years. His smile radiated the confidence of someone who had his life figured out and knew the key to happiness. He asked if I wanted water or mate.

I wasn't really thirsty, but my compliant nature led me to ask for a glass of water. I drank it, even though I only had butterflies fluttering in my stomach. Father Mateo proceeded to ask me why I was there, and I told him that Isabel had suggested I talk to him about the retreat. Before I continue, I think it's important to briefly explain what that retreat was about. It was a four-day retreat designed for people who had experienced any type of abuse.

Father Mateo asked me a question that completely changed my perspective: "Where is God in moments of abuse or when bad things happen?" I answered with confidence and some anger that God was not present when bad things happened. He nodded and asked, "But if you just said that God is everywhere, where else could He be?" My response was a whisper, "Inside me?" He smiled and said, "Exactly. So when bad things happen to you, they happen to Him too.

When you suffer, He suffers with you." These words left me in shock. I had never considered that perspective before. I had always blamed myself 100% for what had happened to me: for getting in that car, for going to his house, for going up to his room... Furthermore, I had put myself in that terrible situation.

But Father Mateo leaned in, his eyes full of compassion, and repeated, "It's not your fault. It's not your fault. It's not your fault." Every time he said it, I felt something inside me break, as if I were freeing myself from that belief that had oppressed me for so long. It was one of the most unexpected moments of my life. I would have never imagined that a priest I didn't know would have such a profound impact on my life.

His face, with the wrinkles of experience and the sweetness he radiated, was etched in my memory. I saw him as everything I had been missing: a father, a counselor, a friend, even a potential spouse (although he was much older and, besides, a priest). He made me feel complete, and that made me wonder: had I fallen in love with a priest?.


Donate a little?

Use PayPal to support our efforts:


Genre Poll

Your Favorite Genre?

Sign Up for info from Short-Story.Me!

Stories Tips And Advice