Someone writes to Léandre:
Today is a very special day for me. A year ago, I experienced a very important encounter that was somehow related to you. That’s why I would like to share with you my gratitude for what happened. Last year, on August 24, you were in Latvia and you presided a retreat in our parish. I did not know about it and I had not planned to attend. Divine Providence had other plans. I was walking along the Mara Pond when I “accidentally” met people I knew who were going to the retreat. They invited me to come along with them. I told myself: “Okay, I’m going to listen a bit.” I came to this retreat without suspecting that it would be so providential for me and without being aware of the graces which were being prepared for me. Everything went as usual – praise, then teaching, joyfulness and a sense of unity. Your testimony challenged me and warmed my heart, especially the fact that the Lord calls you “my little one” and the way He expresses His love by words like “I love you tenderly, madly! » I had never heard that someone could live such intimacy with God, although I felt in my heart this love which was very tender and madly passionate at the same time. That scared me and made me confused, for I thought there was perhaps something wrong with me. I was too shy to talk about it, because in my opinion, relationships with God had to be distant. So, as if in a sort of astonishment, I continued to participate in the retreat until the moment (I do not remember what was happening at that time) when, looking at Jesus in the painting at the altar, I began to feel such a river of Love separating me from what was going on around me. I felt that I was melting like a piece of yellow butter in the Sun of God’s Love. I felt very well, but suddenly, in this piece of butter, I noticed that there were black spots, such as tea seeds, which appeared during the melting and became more evident. I didn’t like it and I realized that the Lord was showing me my unconfessed sins. These contrasting visions were so striking! The feeling of infinite happiness while melting in the Sun of the Love of God and the consciousness of my sinfulness …
I wanted to go to confession right away, but how could I? There were only Catholic priests whom I dared not approach, for at that time I still belonged to the Lutheran Church. “By chance,” I saw the priest who once came to a meeting at the Lutheran High School where I was studying. At least, I knew his name and I knew some people he knew and to whom I could have referred if necessary. I was encouraged to go to him and present him my desire to confess. The priest said he could listen and pray for me. That was enough for me, because I knew that I was revealing my sins to God Himself; and although, as a Lutheran, I could not receive absolution, I thought that God had heard me. After pouring out my heart before God, I returned to the hall to come back to the program of the retreat, where the Love of God was already waiting for me with a sentence that was decisive to me. I heard him say to me: “Dear little girl, you only have to eat crumbs, come and sit at the table!” It was so clear that I understood at once that I was called to join the Church: the door was open! It was up to me to decide whether to enter through it or not.
What followed took place like if it was in an accelerated movie. I went back to the priest with the desire of “talking business” now. Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed that I don’t remember anything about what we talked about. I probably told him about my experience with faith. I remember one sentence: the priest asked me if I knew how the conversion went to another confession, and I answered “no”. At the end of this interview, we had already agreed on a date: September 8, the birthday of the Mother of God. On that day, I said “Yes” in the Catholic Church.
I’m very happy and grateful. Through this event, I found my spiritual home, a sense of belonging to the parish and the possibility of living in unity at the table of the Church, with Communion. This year has been the happiest of my life, for I have received so much love that I can’t even remember the winter conditions: for me, a permanent spring rejoiced me with the smell of its blooming flowers.
Without realizing it, you, Léandre, became a person that is dear to me and for whom I have gratefulness and prayers in my heart.