“What Love Really Means”
I could have never imagined the journey I was about to embark on when I decided to meet with Fr. Greg weekly almost a year ago. I could have never imagined the positive impact and love this priest would give to my life either. And, I definitely could not have imagined that I would find myself discerning religious life with him.
My journey back to the Catholic Church was not one without contention. I spent months and months questioning and grilling Fr. Greg, but throughout my whole “vetting” period he remained patient and always available to me. I would read a new piece of literature that I felt challenged his position on an issue and would be so anxious to engage him in discussion on it I would just call him. I look back now amazed at his patience with me but it was that patience and his understanding that God chose to express Himself to me through.
When I finally confessed to Fr. Greg, my first confession in seven years, he sat there in silence, radiating with humility and love, as I sobbed and shared with him my deepest regrets. It was in that moment that he became a father like figure in my life. A man full of so much unconditional love for me, his spiritual child, and the courage to tell me the truth even when it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. From then on I have gone to Fr. Greg for comfort and guidance and he has always welcomed me with open arms…and candy.
But the most pivotal moment in my faith journey and growth as a woman occurred four months ago when I found out that my long-term boyfriend was cheating on me. This was a man that led me to believe we were going to get married and who I was planning my life around. No longer was I a 22-year-old woman. I was a broken and lost little girl. I was overwhelmed with pain, mad at God, and angry at this boy. I literally ran to Fr. Greg after I returned home from my Christmas break. I just sat in his office and cried for a long time till I could tell him what happened. Never had a hug been more comforting. His words to me on that day saved me. Saved me from a life of bitterness. A life void of love, beauty, trust, and truth and I have since forgiven my ex.
I was broken, remade again, and found redemption in Christ’s love. My heart is a cathedral that Christ has filled with song. A song that Fr. Greg helped open the doors of my heart too.
And, I now know what love really means because of Fr. Greg. Fr. Greg loves me as Christ loves me. Not for what I have done or what I will become, but he loves me for me. And, I will forever love him and be grateful for that.