Once a woman of about fifty years came to confession. When she was twelve years old, her father left the family, and throughout her life she hated him for that, did not communicate with him. He tried to establish contact with his daughter, but she did not want to make contact, cursed him, did not want to see him.
It’s been nearly forty years since her dad died. And here she came and began to explain:
-“I certainly understand that this is a bad thing, but I still continue to resent him.”
I gave her the usual answer: “Try to pray, repent, resentment is not good.”
Having told me about her father, she began to remember her childhood and during confession she mentioned that when she was twelve years old she stole 5 rubles from her mother’s purse. And, I not knowing what made me ask her”
– “And you have asked her for forgiveness?”
– “No, I haven’t” , she answers.
– “It is necessary to do so!” I insisted.
-“My mom lives in the village, she is more than eighty years old, she doesn’t remember anything any more.”
And I continued to convince her:
-“No, you have to go to her and ask for forgiveness.”
Then I said a prayer of absolution over her and we left.
After a few weeks, I saw her again. She came to me in a terrible condition, red swollen eyes and shaking. For a long time she cried, but finally calmed down and told me that she went to see her mother in the village and told me what she had said:
-“You know mom, when I was twelve years old, I have taken 5 rubles from your purse without telling you and recently I went to the priest for confession and he told me that I needed to ask for forgiveness.”
Mom started to cry and told me:
– “When your father was drinking a lot, he started to steal money. When you were nine years old, I could not stand it any more and kicked him out. He asked for forgiveness on his knees and I gave him another chance. After that he got a job. But when you were twelve years old, we were missing 5 rubles. I asked you but you told me that you didn’t take it. Then I accused your father and we got into a fight. After that, he walked out and never came back”. When the woman learned about everything, all her resentment towards her father disappeared and instead was filled with guilt on the train. Although if you look at it objectively, her fault is small. What are five rubles? A little thing. But in little things the Lord opens our eyes.
Priest Paul Ostrawski