THE PRIEST AND THE BELIEVER by Daniel J Rice February 2012
“I understand your dilemma, my friend, but you must realize that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. He is you and you are him.”
Garret sat across the table listening to the priest who was dressed in casual clothes, and tried to convince himself that it was all true. He wanted nothing more than to believe the words of this wise and secure older man. He had some practice at this, many hours were spent in front of a mirror telling himself that all this life and living, death and suffering, was for a reason, that there was a higher purpose, and that if he believed in it he would be saved. He would have peace.
The old priest rubbed chap stick across his pale dry lips. His eyes had the focus of someone who believes everything they say. He had spent many years convincing himself that these truths he believed were definite. There was no grey area. A student of any philosophy, with enough study and practice, is guilty of this same absolute certainty. They become righteous enough to convince others of their beliefs without doubt or question.
Garret placed his hands gently on the table and nodded his head up and down in an agreeable fashion. “I know what you mean, I often feel this power inside of me, and I hear that voice telling me what I should do. It is in these moments that I know the Holy Spirit intimately. I often feel that I am inseparable from his presence.”
“You are certainly on the right path my friend,” replied the old priest, as he folded his hands together and placed them between his knees. He leaned forward in his seat and began a prayer.
Garret closed his eyes and tilted his head forward. He could feel the magic of the prayer flowing through him, filling his body with confidence and hope. The words were like a tabernacle, a force field protecting him from the deeper truths he wished to ignore. He knew that the problems in his life would be resolved. All he had to do was believe. “Praise the Lord, amen,” he said opening his eyes as the priest finished the prayer. “Thank you for your time today father. I look forward to meeting with you again next week.”
“God is strong in your heart my son. Keep him with you and we are one.”
The two men stood up from the table and graciously nodded towards each other. They shook each other’s soft passive hand, and smiled with confidence and delirium in their eyes. As they were putting on their coats Garret looked out the window at the sun filled horizon, while the priest was looking at his own reflection on the same window. The glass doors parted as they exited the coffee shop and entered a world where everything made sense and was filled with purpose, so long as they never strayed from the chosen path.