Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading Souls

Reading Souls

Throughout history there have been prophets who were given the grace to read souls. The Old Testament is full of examples, one of which is the scene when the prophet Nathan confronted King David for his adultery with Bathsheba and subsequent killing of her husband. This grace to read souls is always ordered to inviting the sinner to repent of sin. David wrote Psalm 51 in repentance for his sin.

Saints John Vianney and Padre Pio are modern day examples of this grace. They could tell you your sins when you knelt in their confessional! The effect was beautiful: people who were hard of heart and unrepentant, ended up converting and repenting. Yet, the absolution which these two saints offered is no different than the absolution one can receive from any Catholic Priest. You had to wait in line for days to make a confession to those two saints. Many priests sit alone for half an hour on Saturdays in the confessional. If we only knew the graces which are available things would be different ... In all of her modern day apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been encouraging us to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month.

Pray for the grace of a well formed conscience and true contrition for your sins.

God bless,
Fr. Luke Mary Fletcher, CFR
St. Joseph Friary
New York, NY

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It is true; we are never alone, especially in our moments of pain and suffering.

“The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat.  They were frightened, but he said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.”  John 6:18-20

Perhaps the greatest hardship of pain and suffering occurs when we convince ourselves that we are alone, that everyone, including God, has forgotten about us and we must face this dark period in isolation from the rest of the world.

However, as months pass and we reflect on those moments with fresh eyes we slowly begin to realize that we were not alone.  God was indeed very close to us.  Even the most darkest and violent periods of history reveal this to us.  How could humanity survive any of the countless tragedies she has faced and will continue to face, if there were not a loving God behind it all, holding back the gates of despair and anarchy from erupting upon the earth?

Jesus’ words to his disciples in the midst of their fear, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (Jn 6:20), are much more than an affirmation that everything will be alright.  They are the proclamation that it is Jesus Christ who is the ultimate authority in the universe.  It is He who conquers every tragedy, every disaster and every act of violence.

It is true; we are never alone, especially in our moments of pain and suffering. 

Br. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
St. Leopold Friary
Yonkers, NY