In the above page of Repentance, Adam declares that he is a new man after his repentance and confession. I have walked into a confessional with my life feeling like a train-wreck and walked out with that new car feeling. For me though, life reverts back to train-wreck very quickly. I guess train-wreck is my comfort zone. But I do recall others walking out of the confessional having a mountain top experience that they can scarcely keep in. For some confession can be life changing.
I remember a "regular" among the picketers outside the Morgentaler (abortion) Clinic in Toronto. Pete was a longshoreman and a widower for many years. He had the look and demeanor that was a cross between a mobster hit-man and the Energizer Bunny. Pete was a non-stop talker and pretty soon you could tell his heart ran circles around his head. Often his monologues were an attempt to find cathartic relief from his own personal torture. Pete was torn apart between his competing loves, an overpowering, volcanic, passionate love of European sausages and warm, quiet, sentimental and gentle love of cute animals. Having been thoroughly schooled by life in the art of tactfulness, I refrained from telling Pete that I too loved cute animals, especially if they were smothered in hot, savory, brown gravy.
Often Pete would often regale a captive listener with some homespun parable getting them to imagine their arrival at the pearly gates. When reaching the hallowed entry point we would be surprised by the realization that we would have to walk past these long rows of adorable-looking animals, all the ones on which we had supped on during our lifetime. Somehow, they had all been resurrected or came back to life and now they were looking intensely at us with doleful, puppy-dog eyes. Pete’s vision of the last judgement never really scared me. The one in the Gospel of Matthew is much scarier. However, I took a lesson from Pete on how to dollop others with healthy doses of Catholic guilt. All the while, I didn’t argue with Pete but kept my own council. I didn't come clean with my theological certainty: if God never intended us to eat animals, He never would have made them out of meat.
There is a stereotype that Catholics don't know the Bible. Protestants are nourished by God's Word but not the Eucharist, and with Catholics it's the other way round. I knew even back then that this was merely Russian disinformation in their nefarious campaign to divide and conquer. Then one day out of the blue, Pete became a poster boy for Catholics never getting past the front cover when reading, digesting and assimilating God's word as found in the Holy Bible.
I knew that Pete wasn't one for nuanced argument but I had never seen him angry. However, one day he blew up at another of the "regulars", an evangelical lady who, in re-telling the Exodus story, "got it all wrong in typical Protestant fashion" according to Pete. Pete had to get the last word in, so he shouted as he stormed off that, "the Pharaoh's daughter loved Moses and wanted to marry him! Pharaoh's daughter even told Moses that her people would follow him to the promised land and become Christians!" Pete's animated retelling of the Exodus story it was basically a tragedy and love story all rolled up into one. Even though Moses loved the Pharaoh's daughter, he had to leave her broken-hearted and sobbing uncontrollably; crumpled on the floor like a rag doll because God had told him she wasn't to come. Thankyou Cecil DeMille. Pete knowledge of scripture seemed to have been gleaned mainly from Hollywood blockbusters.
Anyways, one day Pete came up to me and said he felt he was walking on air. He had just gone to confession to a priest, Father Lawrence Abello, who was also picketing that day. It was Pete's first confession in twenty years and he was on cloud nine. He said it was as if a great burden had been lifted. Confession can change people, for most folks it is a little at a time, but for some it is a lot right away.
I am taking a pause in the Repentance comic. It is more-or-less complete, but I may add an epilogue sometime later.
I am excited to be starting a new comic book with a youthful published author, Sam Mercier. Sam is an incredible artist, and his black markers fly across the page at near hypersonic speed. To date his published works available on the internet are
His cartoon drawings for the 2019 Canadian election were chosen to headline CBC internet coverage. We will be collaborating on NROP Glasses starting within a week.
Worthy Comic Websites
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