My Journey Home
Let me tell you my story of faith. I was born into a Catholic family, went to a Catholic school, and
was raised to follow Christ by the laws of the Catholic Church. My mother did the best she could
to raise her children to be devout Catholics and to follow Christ, but I just didn't get it and was not
a very good Christian. I always considered myself a very spiritual person, but not very religious.
The concept of Jesus Christ escaped me. I couldn't grasp it. Christ didn't make sense to me.
God the father sent his only son to die for our sins? Sins that were committed by Adam and Eve,
two biblical characters who's sins we had to be saved from? "Original Sin?" I just didn't get it.
The idea that Christ died for our sins, in my mind, at the time, was simple and small, not a big
deal. I am to worship a God who gave his life for us 2000 years ago? If I don't I will be
condemned to hell forever! What? You've got to be kidding! This is God we're talking about.
How many people throughout history gave his or her life in war? What parent wouldn't gladly
sacrifice their life for their children? After all, we all die! Nobody here gets out alive! And I had to
accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, or perish to hell for eternity. I would be punished for
it! Why? I asked this question over and over no one could ever give me an answer. I shut the
door on Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. I was 15 years old.
Years past and I remember one night I was watching Larry King on TV. He had several
well-respected Christians on his show and he kept asking them the same question, "If someone
doesn't accept Jesus Christ as Savior will they will be condemned to hell forever?" They all
responded, "Yes." Even though they had scripture to prove it, not one of them could explain why.
I was so perplexed by this, and from that day forward I was defiant! My motto became, "If I had to
make a choice between Christ and hell, I CHOOSE HELL!" I had no fear of going to hell because I
thought this whole concept was just dumb. The door was nailed shut.
Please don't misunderstand I'm not saying I didn't believe in God. I had no doubt of God's
existence. One of my hobbies is fishing. I love to fish. If you have any question about the
existence of God, go stand in a river, take a walk through the woods or sail the ocean. You will
quickly feel in your soul through his creations of nature, the presence of God. You will know
without question that God exists. Look into your child's eyes and tell me there is no God. I never
questioned the existence of the Father. What I did question was Jesus Christ. I just couldn't
understand why I had to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior or perish to hell forever. I will say it
again. Why? This made no sense to me. What was the reason for this?
Then I met Frank Kelly and my life was changed forever. I was 41 years old when we met.
It was March 22003 My mother wasin the hospital dying of cancer. It was late on a Thursday
night I was staying at my mothers house on staten Island. I received a phone call from my Cousin
Kevin. He said I want you to come to Boston to meet a man named Frank Kelly he explained that
Frank had a healing ministry and he wanted me to come and get a prayer for my mother. He also
explained that Frank wanted to meet me. I tried to explain to my cousin that it was ok I didn't need
to meet Frank my mother's cancer was advanced and I was completely at peace with her
inevitable death. Kevin was persistent he explained that Frank gave him a prayer for my mother
and he was told to read a passage from the bible about the healing of the blind man. I agreed to
go. Friday I called work took the day off and set off for Boston. Keep in mind now I was away
from the Church for 25 years.
After more than 5 hours in the rain I arrived in Boston my cousin whisked me into his car and told
me we were off to Mission Church to hear a guy from Madga something or other to speak about
the blessed mother and that Frank couldn't make it so we would go to his house on Saturday. So
we go to Mission Church I won't talk about this its not important except for the fact that I was in
church for 2 1/2 hours. Remember I had not set foot in a church in 25 years. Unless of course to
attend a wedding or funeral.
Saturday we drive an hour from Kevin's house to Franks. Now picture this I am a man with no
faith I get into a car in New York on Friday morning to meet someone who is going to give me a
prayer. It is now Saturday afternoon and all I keep asking myself is what am I doing in Boston.
When I arrived at Frank's home and sat at his dining room table, the first thing I did was
apologize. I said, "Frank forgive me, but I am not a very religious person." In fact, I explained that
if I had to accept Jesus as our Savior, or go to hell, then I would choose Hell. Frank's response to
me went something like this, " Robert, Christ never said that. What Christ said is, you take care of
the sinner and I'll take care of the sin." It was 2 1/2 years ago so I'm paraphrasing. That
statement forever changed my life! I'll come back to that in a minute. Frank prays over me, he
gave a bible passage, I don't remember what it was, he then tells me to say 9 our fathers when I
go to bed at night and nine our fathers when I wake up in the morning if I do this I will have peace.
I did this, let me ask you a question did you ever watch your Mother die? For a week after my
return to NY I couldn't get upset about anything no matter how much I tried. I had such peace, so
much so that I drove me crazy I wanted so badly to get angry but I couldn't. It was unbelievable! It
Frank is a man who is all about faith. That is what his ministry is about. It's about finding a way
for you to come closer to God. It's about him giving glory to God by strengthening your faith in
Jesus Christ. It's about being obedient! If it's physical healings that do it for you great for me it
was a spiritual healing that was so important. I will say this about the physical. That Thursday
when I was in the hospital with my mother she quietly expressed to me that she was afraid that
she was going blind she told me to turn off her TV because she couldn't see the people's faces.
When Kevin told me about Frank giving the passage to read about the healing of the blind man I
knew I had to go to Boston. When I returned on Sunday I asked my mother how her eyesight and
she told me it was fine. She never complained about it again.
Now back to "You take care of the sinner, I'll take care of the sin." It has taken every bit of the
last 2-1/2 years to understand the significant of this statement, and I'm learning more and more
each and every day. Immediately after he said it, I knew that it was important because it gave me
a sense of peace that I never experienced before. The door was unlocked.
There is so much more to this story, and Frank Kelly, but I won't go into it here. I will say this,
"When I met Frank, I was drawn to the sense of peace that this man had. I never met anyone who
was more at peace in this world. I just knew I wanted the peace that he had. I later discovered
that the only way to achieve his level of peace is to strengthen your relationship with Christ. At
this very moment in time, I have never been more at peace. It has been achieved entirely by
strengthening my relationship with Jesus Christ. "No Jesus, no peace"
Understand that even though we are all Catholic and Christian, in our hearts and minds everyone
views God a little differently. Our imaginations are different. For me, this statement, "You take
care of the sinner. I'll take care of the sin," in my heart, means to me everything about why Christ
came and died for our sins. He had to come for two reasons. The first reason was, to give us an
example on how to live. . Jesus was all loving, all caring, all forgiving and completely obedient to
the Father. "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." John
15:13 (You take care of the sinner.) The second reason was to free us from the sins we commit
(I'll take care of the sin.). I understood completely what everyone was trying to tell me all my life.
"Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior or perish to hell forever." The question that baffled
me for years, I finally had the answer. I understood it in my heart in a way that I never did before.
Do you want to know why you will perish? I'll tell you why. It's really very simple. What keeps us
from gaining access to the kingdom of heaven? The answer is sin, in particular, Mortal Sin. The
earth calls us to sin, and we are drawn to it. Without Jesus Christ to emulate our life after, we will
sin. The earth is just too powerful. In other words, without Jesus Christ in your life, you don't
have a chance. You will sin. End of story!!! You will never make it to heaven. You will perish.
You say, even with Christ in my life I will and sin anyway. Yes, but through the gift of
Reconciliation and Penance you can rectify your sins. These sins themselves are the reason
Christ sacrificed his life
Christ showed us how to live by being obedient to the father even unto death. Wow! And what a
death it was. You say, so what we all die. God came in human nature. Your life is all you have. It
is everything. He gave us everything!!! I don't know why I couldn't understand that.
Remember, God said, "Believe and I will show you the way" He did not say, " I will show you the
way, and you will believe" There was a locked door between God and me. It was the statement
about Christ and hell. As soon as I heard Frank's response, the door was opened and I began to
believe. As soon as I started to believe, God has shown me more and more and my faith grows
and grows by his grace. Through the Mass, Prayer, Adoration, Fasting and Charity my
relationship with Jesus Christ continues to grow.
Over these past few years, I came to understand the power of the life and death of Christ.
Please, do not stop searching for the answers. They will come.
Faith is a process: it's not something that you wake up with one morning and have. It is a life long
relationship with God that grows over time. You have to keep searching for it or it will be lost
forever. I beg you to keep searching and it will come. It is so important for you and your children.
If you don't lead them who will and where will they go? You Take Care of the Sinner and let God
take care of the sin.
My Mother said to me once that she thought she was going to hell because none of her children
had faith. About a year after that day when Frank asked my cousin if he could meet me, he told
me the reason why. Frank told me that it was an answer to my Mother's prayer. Look at the faith
I have now!!! Thanks Frank you forever changed my life.
Thanks for listening.