Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Admonish Sinners?

Guardian Angels Cathedral, Las Vegas, Nevada - with a background of the Encore Hotel

I have exactly 12 minutes to write this.  With this topic, I should be taking 12 hours, not 12 minutes.  It is something that has been on my mind for the last month or more.  Maybe much much longer than a month.

One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to Admonish Sinners.  Yet we live in a culture of "Coexist" and "Live and Let Live."  We live in a culture of "it is none of my business what anyone else does."  I wonder.

This is sort of tangential to the topic, but maybe not... but this is going to be tangential anyway...  I have been plagued by one sin that I repeat, repent, confess, repeat, repent, confess, over and over and over again.... and again.... and again.  (and I am not going to tell you what it is!)  I have been so embarrassed to go to my own parish priest and confess the same thing over and over again, I have become familiar with confessionals all over the city.  I found one priest I particularly liked across town.  In August, I went to visit him again on a Saturday afternoon.  Imagine my surprise when he wasn't there.  In his place was a priest with a gruff voice and an even gruffer manner.  I shamefully mumbled this sin at the end of the litany of my sins.  Expecting the nice, nice words of a kind priest who tells me to not beat myself up.

Oh, no, that is not what he did at all!  He told me off!  He really, really told me off.  He told me how much I was displeasing Our Lord.  He said I was forgiven, but I was supposed to really repent of my sin.


Do you know that to this day I have not repeated that sin?  Oh, I have been tempted.  But when tempted, I remember what that priest said, and the temptation melts away.

So maybe if every Catholic in the world would simply say something when someone took the name of the Lord in vain?  Or didn't laugh when a filthy joke was told?  Or didn't indulge in gossip?  Or encouraged their friends to go to mass or confession?  Or encouraged their friends to not have an abortion?  Or encouraged their friends to not encourage their daughter to have an abortion?   Or talked to a homosexual friend?

Just thinking... it might be a different world if we would stand up and talk about what we believe in.  It doesn't have to be obnoxious.

OK, my time's up.

God bless you all.


  1. Successful coaches don't beat around the bush.

  2. Very interesting post. I have had a similar experience. It caused a real change within my soul. A pure moment of grace.

  3. Excellent post, Mary Christine. Yes, I think the world would be very different if people weren't afraid to speak up!

  4. Great blog. I can't believe you wrote that in 12 minutes. It would have taken me at least an hour. I too have several sins, not just one, that no matter how conscious I am I repeat. I excuse myself that I'm human, but really I'm just making excuses. Yes, I agree, we should not condone bad behavior withshowing our displeasure.

  5. My actions will convince them, more than my words. Hence, the odd thump doesn't go amiss! ;}

  6. Well MC, once again you've caused me to pause and consider how much I relate (painfully so) to what you're shared. Thank you. Of course, I will need some practice to be able to offer this particular Spiritual Mercy to folks without being judgemental lol. Perhaps, I could do better at getting my own "house in order" before attempting? Thanks for the great post and Happy New Year :-)