Chicago Warriors: The Confession

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Taking another gulp of vodka from the flask, she quickly put the top back on it so that she could put it back in her purse. But she wasn't quick enough-just as she was about to hide it, Patty walked in.

"Beth, I..."

"Just a moment..."

"Beth, what are you doing? I saw that-it's a flask! You can't hide this any longer; you're damaging your health. Your weight continues to alarm me; you look like a skeleton! And don't think that you've been fooling anyone; we've all smelled the alcohol on your breath for some time now. Honey, you need help...let's talk about it, please."

"Patty, it's personal-it's my problem."

"It's not just your problem anymore. It's affecting your job, and the way that people think about you. Do you want me to tell you about some of conversations that I've overheard? You wouldn't like it. You've gone from one of the brightest stars in the company, to someone who is sometimes unreliable and distant. Your head's no longer here at work, it's like you're in a fog much of the time. You need help Beth, can't you see that?"

Beginning to sob, Beth realized that Patty was right. Carrying this burden alone for so long was killing her. Her life was in turmoil. Her relationships as well as her health were deteriorating. Maybe it was time to take a step toward easing this unbearable pain.

"You're right, I do have a problem-I do need help. Maybe you're the one that He sent to release me from the prison that I've been in. Do you have time to talk right now?"

"Of course I do. Let's go into the far conference room; we'll talk, we'll pray, we'll do whatever needs to be done to bring back the Beth that's been missing for much too long now."

They talked for several hours. It proved to be a cathartic experience for her, one that seemed to reawaken her soul from a deep sleep. She vowed to tell Pete everything, regardless of what might come of it, but first she had to confess her sins to God. On the train ride home she called Father Mike at Queen's.

"Queen of Martyrs, this is Father Mike, how can I help you?"

"Father, this is Beth Shannon."

"Beth, how are you?"

"Well, I haven't been well lately, that's why I'm calling. I really need to see you; I need to go to confession. I need to unburden my soul and be honest for the first time in several years. Can I come in now? I'm on the way home from work."

"I'm just finishing my dinner. I'll be waiting for you in my office, just come right in when you get here."
"Thank you Father."

Beth was feeling better already with the first step having been taken toward healing. She didn't know which was going to be more difficult, confessing to God or to Pete, but she was adamant about doing both. Pulling into the lot at Queen's, she walked into the rectory.

"Beth, I am so pleased that you are here!"

"Father Mike, I've been a horrible wife and a horrible Catholic. I need to rid my soul of Satan's evil works; I need to tell God how sorry I am that I let the devil rule my heart."

"Beth, you are a child of God. Just as a parent forgives his own child, there is nothing that you can do that the Father will not forgive. Our Lord and Savior forgave the apostle Peter, the one who denied Him three times. He gave him a second chance, just as He is waiting to give you one. In the Bible, John tells us, "He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." Now, let's begin..."In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

By the time she had finished getting it all out, she was exhausted and hungry. She felt renewed and refreshed both spiritually and physically. No longer having to fear that someone would discover her dark secret, she felt awash and alive in the Spirit of Christ.

"Thank you Father Mike. This sin has been like an anvil that I've carried around for the last several years, sapping every bit of energy that I had. It has caused me to feel undeserving of anyone's love and attention."

"Beth, you've confessed your sins to Him-believe me when I tell you-you are forgiven. Now you need to focus on the here and now. Pete needs to know these things as well. He has been very concerned about your health and spiritual well-being. Now go to him. He will be hurt, but if your love for each other is as strong as I think it is, you will both eventually move beyond this."

"I hope that you're right Father."

"You have no choice. May God bless you, may He fill you with His Spirit and give you the strength and the courage that you need to finish the task."

 Next: Making Plans

Previous: The Consultation 

John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by

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