Brent welcomes everyone to their new meeting place, a restaurant at the southwest corner of BSU, and asks someone to offer an opening prayer. Then he says, It was right here a while back that I met the lady I talked about last week. Father Henry had asked me if I had contact information for her, but I had failed to get it, and so I don’t know how she’s doing. It appears she still doesn’t feel worthy to come to Mass. You haven’t met her, Father, have you? (He shakes his head, No.)
James says, I think she needs “inner healing”—she must have a lot of troubled memories of being neglected, abandoned and even abused, maybe going back into childhood, which still trigger notions of shame and unworthiness, and add fuel to her fires of addiction to food and alcohol. Back in California my uncle did a lot of inner healing prayer in the jail for people suffering from such hurtful experiences. They’d ask Jesus into them, and He did that, and helped them forgive whoever hurt them. He wrote a poem which I’d like to share with you:
An Inner Healing
(Reading: Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18, 25-27; John 21:11-19)
Where do you go, after you’ve denied your Lord?
When a fire’s warmth feels better than staying near your hero in trouble?
When a serving maid can get to you with “You’re one of them, aren’t you?”
When fear wells up and grabs you by the throat and tempts you
into tromping on the truth, and you want to save your skin so badly,
you’ll deny you know your best friend?
You wish the whole world were dark, so you can hide.
So Peter, ego-boosting and now busted premier disciple,
went into the dark, and wept bitterly:
Jesus’ main man, turned into a quivering,
moaning hulk of typical fallen humanity.
Where do you go, when you’ve turned your back on God? Nowhere. There’s nowhere to go, for God is everywhere.1 And the eyes of every soul would remind you of Jesus,
looking at Peter,2 after the sin.
Peter went fishing
But the master fisherman went too, went fishing for the Rock 3
upon whom he’d build the church, didn’t want that rock to sink too deep.
So, having helped the men catch fish again,4 he serves them breakfast,
over a charcoal fire, and reels the big rock5 in.
“Do you love me, Peter?” Three times he asks it.
Three times Peter answers, “I love you, Lord.”6
Three times Jesus responds with “Feed my sheep”—
as if to say, “You can serve me, Peter,
you can serve me, you can serve.”
So Peter hears his soul say he loves his Lord— he needed that—
and knows he is forgiven, since he is recomissioned for service.
And ever after, whenever he thinks, “I denied him, I denied him, I denied him,”
he’ll think of the fire, and of the fish, and of his Lord, not mentioning his sin,
just accepting his so imperfect love, and sending him forth to serve him,
sending him forth, sending him forth, sending him forth to love
and proclaim the Good News, and even die for Him.
1-Ps. 139; 2-Luke 22:61: 3-Matt.16:18; 4-Luke 5:1-11; 5-Matt. 16:18 (“Petros”=”rock”.) 6- Jesus wanted “agape”—selfless love. All Peter felt he could give was “filia”, friendship. Jesus accepts it, accepts him! —HPK
Brent says, Thank you James. I’m glad that when I ran into you the other day, you told me about this poem. After discussing inner healing with the group, and praying for a couple of folk who bravely said they needed it, Brent invites Fr. Henry to close the meeting with a prayer.