Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to evangelize your liberal pastor

In my former parish there was a happily liberal priest who didn't believe in sin anymore. He used to drive me crazy, and I wrote multiple letters to him which I tore up before sending since I couldn't phrase them charitably. I gave up on reaching him and convincing him of the truth of our need for confession. But someone was praying for him.  Father was sent by the parish for a few days of retreat in Harlem in the Friary of the Franciscans of the Renewal.
 "They put me in the cell behind the Tabernacle" he shared in a homily when he returned. These friars knew what they were doing. Something dramatic happened as Father was enthralled at the sight of dozens of vibrant young men living radical lives for Christ in the middle of Manhattan.
 When Father returned to his parish on Ash Wednesday, he had the same horrified reaction I just did to the attitude of the man who refused Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in favor of a smudge of dirt in this post in Coming Home.
At another mass, when ashes were to be distributed after mass had ended, a man came up the communion line and when the host was extended to him replied, “I don’t want that. I’m here for ashes.” 
 His eyes were opened, and he ended his testimony saying, "but it was just as well that many who left  the church after ashes were distributed but before Communion, since they probably were in a state of mortal sin for not attending Mass regularly."

This priest is now a Franciscan of the Renewal.

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