Many years ago, when I first received the sacrament of Holy Communion, I remember the priest explaining the parable of the prodigal son and ever since then it was stuck in the back of my head.
I attended an inner healing retreat organized by CFCI-Porvorim in May and on the very first day; the session began with this very parable, leaving me excited and in anticipation for what was to come.
On the second day of the retreat, we had an inner healing prayer service at night and during the session; the Lord convicted me of so many areas of sin in my life. I felt terrible and wanted to run away from the venue.
While walking back to my room, I felt a cool breeze and I heard the Lord telling me not to leave but rather to repent and turn away from my sin. I decided to do just that and as I sat in prayer, I was comforted by a friend who brought great clarity to my mind and helped me take the first step towards turning away from my sinful life and coming clean before God through the sacrament of Confession.
The next morning, we had a praise and worship session following which we were all asked to step forward and place our hands on a Crucifix and Rosary and forgive those people whom we couldn’t forgive. Since we had learnt the Forgiveness (Chair) Therapy the previous day, I had attempted to forgive all those who had hurt me. However, I was just unable to forgive myself for all my past sins and mistakes.
During the counseling session, when a few things of my past were revealed to me by the counselor, I began sobbing like a baby and let out all the hurt that I was holding within for years. By the end of the session I was filled with an unexplainable peace and joy.
On the final day, during the Anointing session, I was blessed with the gift of Joy along with other blessings.
The retreat was truly an amazing experience. It helped me realize that we need to turn away from our sinful lives and turn towards Jesus. He will definitely help us out. I also realized that above and beyond forgiving others, we must first forgive ourselves.
Just like the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus helped me realize my mistakes and when I turned to Him, He cleansed me, filled me with joy and gave me loads of blessings too.