Saturday, April 11, 2015

Thinking about the Sacrament of Penance

St. Leopold Mandić

Like an early desert father - he took upon himself the penances others thought he should be giving his penitents. Isn't that kind? Isn't that generous? Isn't that love? Isn't that mercy? Carrying one another's burdens. Being moved with pity by the weakness of others. St. Leopold made himself available for confession - like a watchman, he waited at the gates and in the confessional to reconcile those who passed by.

A couple of quotes from St. Leopold...

"Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
"Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself."
"A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."

Leopold suffered from esophagus cancer, which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On July 30, 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the last rites. Friars that had gathered at his bed began singing the Salve Regina and saw that Leopold died as they sang "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary." - Source

St. Leopold pray for us to Our Lady.


  1. Your blog is in my blogs list in order by the most recently updated.

  2. But the first millenium had an entirely different outlook that one can argue made repeat sins far less likely.
    Here is St. Columban from the 6th century ( maleficium is herbs taken before sex ):
    " If one has destroyed another by his maleficium, let him do penance on measured bread and water for three years. and for another three years abstain from wine and meat, and then in the seventh year he may be received into communion. "
    He goes on to give other penances for simple aphrodisiacs....a layman six months on bread and water.
    I think there should be a middle ground between these two saints since super light penances invite repeat sins while three years on bread and water has got to be destroying the health of the sinner. How about community service and no kobe steaks from steaks at all but the Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe from Wendy's one can have after the first two months.
    In short maybe the future of the Church will seek a middle way between the first millenium rigor and the second millenium light penances. John the Baptist certainly needs to be looked at though he was pre grace so his locust and wild honey diet...were extreme for us...rational pre grace as was death for adultery...pregrace.....not rational after grace, after lessening of the devil, after Christ drawing all things to himself.
    The human being needs the middle way between these light versus rigorist saints. I believe it's the number 4 value meal at Burger King....after two months on artisanal bread with evian water.

  3. Little man, big heart...

  4. I keep a relic of St. Leopold in my confessional. He is a great Saint!!!

    1. You are blessed to have such devotion to him - God bless you Father. Pray for me.


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