God Squad offered no help to suffering Vietnam veteran
Another Saturday, another poignant question asked of Rabbi Marc Gellman of “The God Squad” and another squandered opportunity for him to discuss God’s forgiving nature and healing power.
The July 19 column dealt with the guilt a Vietnam veteran still feels from conducting bombing raids during the war. Rabbi Gellman stated that the bitter truth is that nothing you can say can cure the spiritual brokenness that afflicts this man. That is probably true.
So why did the Rabbi go on to recommend the man see a therapist? After 40 years, this veteran has most likely depleted every rational thought and resource within himself. What he needs is spiritual healing from a higher power outside of himself.
The Catholic Church has the Sacrament of Reconciliation (“Confession”) to salve such spiritual wounds. The priest acts as a “standin” or conduit to God himself and can provide absolution (forgiveness) to the penitent.
People troubled by guilt from past misdeeds should seek out a priest. Most parishes have an hour scheduled on Saturday afternoon for this purpose. Don’t expect a scolding, but rather sound advice, absolution and ultimately, peace of mind.
Susan M. Stack