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Conversation Corner
John Vianney: The Saint Who Read Souls at a Glance--March 2003

Share a positive experience you have had with a priest, or how a priest has helped you.


Date: 4/7/2003 5:02:43 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Alexis
Subject: Two great priests I’ve known

I’ve been lucky to know many excellent priests, but two stand out in my mind.

The first one, whose name unfortunately escapes me now, was wonderfully helpful when I was struggling a lot with sinfulness. I was upset and frustrated with my lack of progress in virtue. He told me, "You know, I used to be able to do 30 pushups. I didn’t work out for a long time, and when I tried to do my pushups again, I could only do 15. But the next time, I could do 20." That little analogy helped me immeasurably!

The second priest, Father Tom, once told this story at Mass, and I have thought of it often when doubting God’s forgiveness:

A woman was constantly telling her parish priest that Jesus came and spoke to her in her sleep.

He was skeptical but finally told her, "The next time Jesus comes and talks to you, ask him what great sin your priest committed when he was still in the seminary that he’s still ashamed of."

The next Sunday, she told him again, "Father, Jesus came and spoke to me last night."

He said, "Did you ask him what sin I committed when I was young?"

She said, "I did, Father, and he said, ’I don’t remember.’"

Wow! What a profound effect that story always has on me!

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