After Confession, he felt new
strength. “It occurred to me I have
a clean slate. It’s all wiped away,” he
He made a second list, one with
names of all the people he needed to
ask for forgiveness.
“God had shown me this mercy.
God had given me this second
chance,” he says. “But there was still
all this animosity and hurt lingering
out there in these relationships.” He
wanted to look into the eyes of his
sisters, his mother, his ex-wives and
ask how he could set things right.
He traveled the country for several months making apologies. Most
people accepted graciously. At least
one wished he would just die, but
came around later.
After learning about his faith
He was waiting for God to bring
from an adult perspective in RCIA,
he moved to the Oregon coast to
build a new life. “Obviously I’m sup-
posed to get married, right? And have
a family and raise cool little Catholic
kids and they will all be awesome
with little Mohawks,” he says.
the perfect woman into his life.
He sat on the beach and watched
couples run into each other’s arms
seemingly in slow motion. After a
while, he started getting angry.
Love went to complain to the parish
priest in Newport, who suggested
that maybe Love had another call-
“I thought that was crazy talk,”
Love says. But he took a brochure
from the priest and recognized
pictures of Mount Angel Abbey, a
place he had visited to see its art
and faith. “I was starving in a way,”
Love left his lucrative tattoo career,
not because he thinks it’s inherently
bad, but because he could no longer
abide many of the sleazy images
and words people asked him to etch
permanently on their bodies. “Here
are all these people coming to see my
work and give me their money and
I just can’t stand it,” he says. “I had
nothing to give.”
On a bus headed to drug rehab,
he looked out the window and saw
an elderly woman lugging a duffel
bag as large as she was. He saw it as
signifying his own load of sin. That’s
when he filled a notebook with
his misdeeds and called St. Joseph
Church in Salem, suggesting that the
priest set aside a big block of time
and brew a pot of coffee.
If by some chance I
ended up at the gates,
I had no defense. I
just hoped God would
“Enter #088 at VocationMatch.com