NEVER AGAIN

Marius Suzanne gave a description of the hundreds of people who, during the Aix mission, flocked to the sacrament of reconciliation ministered by Eugene and the Missionaries:

In fact, I wish that all who live in our city of obstinate skeptics, all the hardened sinners who continue to refuse the pressing invitations from the Lord, had witnessed the edifying spectacle presented by the Church of the Missionaries of Provence on the eve of the General Communion.
The spacious choir of this church was never empty throughout the day. Men who came with fervent zeal, to kneel before the ministers of Jesus Christ to receive the absolution for their sins, which they had desired for so long.
Caringly ministered to by the holy priests who invited them to experience sorrow and love, many were seen shedding tears of sorrow as they, kissed the crucifix of the Savior that they had in their hands. Then they knelt before the holy altar to worship in silence and in deepest reverence, the Majesty of God they had offended. Some even raised their hands in supplication to Heaven, and said aloud, “No, Lord, never again! Never again!”
I heard many congratulating themselves on the way out, that their conscience, only recently awakened, finally experienced the happiness of peace and tranquility, and they enjoyed the happiness they had vainly looked for in the world and its pleasures”

Marius Suzanne, ” Quelques lettres sur la mission d’Aix “, p 21-22.

 

“God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He’s even put a ‘No Fishing’ sign over the spot.”                Dwight L Moody

 

 

(Note this entry was published in a different context above on March 7, 2011)

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2 Responses to NEVER AGAIN

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As one who was away from the church and sacraments for many years I found myself resonating with the sentiments of today’s writings. I had the good fortune of first being able to take part in AA’s Step 4, but that did not quite cover it – there was something missing, something more that I yearned for. That something I found when I came back into the Church – which I did through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To be able to let go of the incredibly painful and lonely load that I carried was to allow freedom like I had never experienced before. This was my conversion (or the beginnings of) and it was transformative, I was transformed – both inside and outside – the beginnings of a new life.

    “Caringly ministered to by the holy priests who invited them to experience sorrow and love, many were seen shedding tears of sorrow as they, kissed the crucifix of the Savior that they had in their hands. ” and “that their conscience, only recently awakened, finally experienced the happiness of peace and tranquility, and they enjoyed the happiness they had vainly looked for in the world and its pleasures”. These two phrases alone describe a little of my experience with that reconciliation and even as I write this I find myself with a more profound sense of the word ‘rconciliation’ and I am filled with many emotions, most notably deep gratitude and a deep sense of being enveloped, protected and loved (that “no fishing sign” spoke of by Moody). Thirty-three years later and I can still remember the young priest who ‘heard my confession’, I still pray daily for him.

    I have only the deepest respect and love for priests when it comes to this sacrament. It is in some respects the greatest of the sacraments and the most precious gift they will be able to give people. I think of Jesus on the Cross and I think of Eugene, of the many Oblates over the years and I am filled with gratitude and love. It seems always when I reflect on those early Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and on those today, I am keenly aware of that sense of being in the midst of true “Cooperators of Christ Our Savior”. They/you give life to those very words.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Never again – it seems I have said that to myself over and over again – many times throughout the years. I get/receive the courage to look at myself, my actions, my attitudes – that is a biggy – my attitudes I find myself peeling away another layer and having to say “never again Lord, never again!”

    How have I sinned against you O God, let me count the ways.. That sounds so dramatic but it’s not. And when I look at my sin honestly it is always the same – it just goes a little deeper but seems always to go back to that same woundedness within myself. Does it never get healed Lord? And even as I ask this, in sorrow and repentance you gather me into your arms and fill me.

    Rohr talks about being filled with righteousness, self-sufficiency, opinions and superiority – all of them I know well enough – and about being a world unto myself and there being no room for “another” which is you. Bad enough what it does to me, and if it hurts another, puts down another rather than lifting them up then truly Lord have mercy on me. He talks about daily having to empty ourselves to make sure that each day we are hungry, that there’s room inside for you (rather than being filled with only myself). And so each day I say – never again. Have mercy on me O God for I hunger for you.

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