"You are called to always be “men of the Holy Spirit,” witnesses and heralds, joyful and strong, of the resurrection of the Lord. This testimony is read on the face, is heard in the voice of the priest who administers with faith and with “unction” the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He welcomes penitents not with the attitude of a judge, not even with that of a simple man, but with the charity of God, with the love of a father who sees the son returning and goes to meet him, [with the love] of the shepherd who has found the lost sheep. The heart of the priest is a heart that knows how to be moved, not by sentimentality or mere emotion, but to the 'tender mercy' [viscere di misericordia] of the Lord! If it is true that tradition points out the dual role of doctor and judge for confessors, we must never forget that as a doctor he is called to heal and as a judge, to absolve.
"The second aspect: if Reconciliation transmits the new life of the Risen Lord and renews baptismal grace, then your task is to give it generously to others. A priest who does not attend to this part of his ministry, both in the amount of time spent and in the spiritual quality, is like a shepherd who does not take care of the sheep that were lost; he is like a father who forgets the lost son and neglects waiting for him. But mercy is the heart of the Gospel! It is the good news that God loves us, that He always loves the sinner, and with this love draws him to Himself and invites him to conversion. We must not forget that the faithful often have difficulty approaching the sacrament, whether for practical reasons, or because of the natural difficulty of confessing one’s sins to another person. For this reason it is necessary to work hard on ourselves, on our humanity, never to be an obstacle but always to favour drawing near to mercy and forgiveness.
"Here we must guard against two extremes: rigorism and laxism. Neither is good, because in reality they don’t take charge of the person of the penitent. Instead, mercy truly listens with the heart of God and wants to accompany the soul on the path of reconciliation. Confession is not a court of condemnation, but an experience of forgiveness and mercy!"
YOU are over there, Father Malloy, Where holy ground is, and the cross marks every grave, Not here with us on the hill— Us of wavering faith, and clouded vision And drifting hope, and unforgiven sins. You were so human, Father Malloy, Taking a friendly glass sometimes with us, Siding with us who would rescue Spoon River From the coldness and the dreariness of village morality. You were like a traveler who brings a little box of sand From the wastes about the pyramids And makes them real and Egypt real. You were a part of and related to a great past, And yet you were so close to many of us. You believed in the joy of life. You did not seem to be ashamed of the flesh. You faced life as it is, And as it changes. Some of us almost came to you, Father Malloy, Seeing how your church had divined the heart, And provided for it, Through Peter the Flame, Peter the Rock.
"Jesus goes on to say, 'For here the saying is verified that One sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work." (Jn 4:37-38)
"And here too is another very important lesson about sowing and reaping. We often sow seeds that we ourselves will not be able to reap, others will. And we too reap the harvests of seeds that others have sown and tended.
"Never give up. Harvests come, but there is time between the sowing of the seeds and the reaping of the harvest. Too many today are easily discouraged by any delay, any separation in time between the sowing and the harvesting. But we must learn to accept this delay; any harvest takes time."
"In a seemingly insignificant detail in one of the appendices of his masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien notes that the destruction of the One Ring and the defeat of Sauron took place on March 25. What might have led Tolkien to date the destruction of the ring with such precision? Being a devout Catholic, Tolkien most likely was subtly weaving into his work an ancient Christian tradition regarding the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the feast the Church celebrates today.
"According to this tradition, the date of the Annunciation coincided with a number of significant events in salvation history. March 25 was not only the day on which Christ was conceived in Our Lady’s womb; it was also the day of the creation of the world, the day Adam and Eve fell, the day Abraham (nearly) sacrificed his son Isaac, the day the Israelites were set free from Egypt, and the day of the crucifixion."
Br. Isaac Augustine Morales, O.P. View Post 25 March 2014