He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.
St. John Vianney was a parish priest in Ars, France after the French Revolution. He became internationally known because of his spiritual practice and teaching. In the last ten years of his life he would hear confessions up to sixteen hours a day!
One of the Church’s greatest sacraments, yet one that is often least taken advantage of, is the sacrament of reconciliation. It is true that one does not have to go to confession in order for God to forgive our sins. And yet it can be so freeing to actually tell someone of your guilt, to own up to it and to get it off your chest. Even more, to hear the priest say, in the name of Christ and the Church, “You are forgiven,” brings a level of peace and renewal that can’t be attained any other way.
—Fr. Dan Reim, SJ is campus chaplain at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH.
I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely loveable God,
and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally.
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.
—St. John Vianney’s prayer to Jesus
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