Many Catholics have fallen away from believing in and practicing their faith during the past 40 years. More and more are finding their way back home, but some wonder how difficult it is to return and what procedures must be followed.
Several years ago I listened to Jack Cashill give a public speech in which he talked about returning to the Catholic Church after an absence of many years. He described meeting a good priest at a reception and learning what it would take to return to the faith of his fathers.
Does anyone know the simple answer the priest gave him? Hint: it takes only about fifteen minutes, and afterwards, the reinstated Catholic knows he is far more favored and blessed by God than the long-time faithful Catholic in the next pew.
Answer: The only thing that is necessary to return to grace and truth in the Catholic faith is to go to confession, which means to be sorrowful for your sins, admit your sins to a priest, and do the penance that the priest gives you. Is it difficult to remember sins committed over 10, 30, and even 50 years ago? Not too bad if all you have to do is answer the priest's questions. Jack said the priest who admitted him back in the Church and heard his confession simply asked him how many times he had committed particular sins.
Priests know how difficult it is for a person to confess their sins after an extended time because memory fails and there may be embarrassment. That is why the priest asked Jack Cashill how many times he had committed a particular sin. The audience laughed with humble self-awareness when he admitted "about 1,300 times, Father!"
I'd like to personally welcome home all our lost brothers and sisters. I know you've been through hell during your time away from the City of God [St. Augustine].
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