A return to Confession after 20 years: ‘I feel so free’

Here at Relevant Radio®, we have the honor of taking calls and questions from listeners across the country who are at different places in their journey of faith. It is our hope and prayer that by sharing the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith that we can plant a seed that will draw them closer to Christ and His Church, but we don’t often hear what happens after our conversations with them.

That’s why it is truly a joy when we get to hear how the story ends. Recently we experienced this joy when a listener named James called in to The Patrick Madrid Show to ask about the sacrament of Confession.

“I want to receive Communion, but I haven’t been to Confession to confess my sins,” James said.

He wanted to know why it was a mortal sin to receive Communion without first confessing your sins. Patrick responded to James using examples from Scripture, after which James thanked him and ended the call. But in an unexpected twist, James called back later in the program.

“I went to Confession, and at 12:00 I’m going to take Communion,” he said. “After I hung up with you I called the church. The priest was there, I confessed my sins, he absolved my sins, and at 12:00 today  I’m going to get Communion.”

James expressed his gratitude that Patrick encouraged him to participate in the sacrament of mercy, saying,  “You were right. I feel so free now, and I can’t wait to get Communion. Thank you. I am so grateful.”

But why did James decide to call in to The Patrick Madrid Show that day? He explained, “I’ve been praying and praying and praying. But something was empty, something was lacking. And it was Communion. … I was scared, I was so scared. But you were right, when I walked out of there I feel so much happier, so relieved. I can’t wait to get Communion.”

Patrick asked James what he would say to other listeners who have been away from Confession for many years.

“Don’t be afraid,” James said. “Just go in, pour your heart out, tell everything, say anything. A good priest is not going to be judgemental, because if we stood before Jesus Christ He would not be judgemental against us. … I feel so much better. I feel like I can move now. God bless you. I just wanted to call and say thank you.”

If you haven’t been to Confession in a while, make today the day that you reconcile with the Lord. If you need help before, during, or after your Confession, you can use our ‘Confession Helper,’ found under the Prayer tab on the Relevant Radio App.

Listen to the full conversation with James below:

The Patrick Madrid Show airs weekdays from 9:00 – noon Eastern/6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.