Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pondering Pages/Pardon and Peace

Better late than never, right? I loved the book "Pardon and Peace" by Alfred Wilson, but this avid reader has become quite sluggish in making her way through the books lately. I wanted to completely finish this book before I wrote anything about it, and I'm glad I did because the end was the very best part! So here, two days late for Lara's Holy Mothering MEME, is my pondering pages contribution.

On September 23rd, the feast day of St. Padre Pio, my son John and I attended a beautiful program on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The relics of St. Padre Pio were at the church for veneration and a priest gave a three hour talk about the Sacrament. His talk was outstanding! If anyone had ever asked me if I would be willing to stand in line for two hours to confess my sins, I would have said "No, I'll go somewhere else with a shorter line." But let me tell you, after hearing this talk, I was just burning to go to confession and release that burden of sin that was weighing me down. So, I got in line and I did wait two hours for the Sacrament with no regrets for the time spent, for it was very well spent.

During his talk, the priest kept referring to a wonderful book he had read. The book was "Pardon and Peace" by Alfred Wilson. It was written in 1947. The book is really a "how to" manual about the Sacrament. It covers everything you could ever want to know about the "hows" and the "whys" of confessing sins. It offers encouragement and compassion while at the same time, talks about the respect and responsibilities that we should remember when celebrating the Sacrament.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the ending of the book really touched my heart and sent my spirit soaring, so I share part of that with you...

In speaking about the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead..."The raising of a soul from the death of sin to the divine life of grace is a still greater marvel and miracle. No bodily corruption can compare with the spiritual corruption of a soul in the state of mortal sin; a spiritual corpse is far more repulsive than a physical corpse. The spiritual degradation of a soul in mortal sin is indescribable, but even more indescribable is the transcendent beauty of a soul in grace. To transform a sinner from the loathsome corruption of spiritual death to the dazzling beauty of participated divine life is a work of power and mercy which even the angels cannot fully understand."

"Approach this Sacrament in a spirit of tranquility and boundless trust. You are your Divine Friend of Friends, Who only asks you to lay bare your wounds that He may heal them. A drop of Precious Blood is, as it were, about to fall on your soul and "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall become white as snow." He is overjoyed that you are coming to Him-you must believe that."

And for me, I do believe that, and I can't wait to receive the Sacrament again, before my Consecration this Saturday, and with that forgiveness of my sins and the touch of Jesus' loving hand upon me, I know that I will be ready to stand in God's presence and profess my eternal love and devotion to Jesus and Mary.


  1. Like you, Anne, I just can't wait to receive this sacrament again and again.

    Padre Pio and the Curè d'Ars are such great examples, their holiness was so dazzling that myriads of people, some of them from very far away, came to them to beg for God's forgiveness, forming endless lines in front of their confessionals.
    Prayer, the Eucharist, the sacrament of penance: these were the three shining lights of their sanctity.

    The third of these is especially striking, in an age like the present when the sacrament of penance is hardly received at all, having fallen into neglect nearly everywhere.

    On inaugurating the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI particularly insisted on the necessity of revitalizing this sacrament and with your post you are certainly helping him :)

  2. Anne,

    About 2 years ago I attended one of Scott Hahn's talks on reconciliation and I was very disappointed that he missed the mark like so many other speakers on this subject. People are not against going to confession - it has been soooo long since they have gone - they don't know how. I mean people need the specifics to ease the stress of going. They need a preprinted card they are allowed to take with them with what exactly they need to say and do when they go to confession. If they would do that - the confessionals will be full. Our diocese starting during lent having a small confessional inside our local shopping mall - it has been such a success that it is now open all year long.

    Anyway, I enjoy your blog very much.


  3. I don't mind going to Confession, but I can't seem to make myself get there but for once every four months. I ought to challenge myself to go once a month - minimum. Thanks for this "food" for thought. And, prayer.

  4. This would be a good book for me, Anne;) I try to limit myself to going just once a month now. [lol]

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Shelly, you have really blown my mind with the thought of confessions at the shopping mall! I looked it up on the internet to try to find out more about it. I found a very interesting story from Colorado about the mall, and also in Chicago where they offer 24 hour/day confessions through the cooperation of several priests and the Knights of Columbus for security. Very novel ideas! Whatever works!

  6. A SHOPPING MALL?!?!?!? FLOORED me on that one!!!!

    Thank you for telling us about this book Anne...the title rings a long ago bell in my mind...I'm thinking I might have seen this book on the table by my Dad's chair when I was young...

    This Sacrament leaves me is SUCH awe each time I receive it...God's mercy and forgiveness are so endless and I feel so undeserving yet thankful and joyful at the same time for I know it is by the merits of Jesus that I become worthy of this forgiveness.

    I hope to read that book one day.

  7. Yes hard to believe a shopping mall. Here is a story from our Faith Magazine about it as well as a picture.

  8. Thanks for the link, Shelly! So nice to have you visiting my blog!