Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Name That Priest

There was a long line, as usual, in front of the confessional. Although two other priests were also hearing confessions, all the lines were long. The woman waiting in line was next. She had been trying for three weeks to get to confession but without success. It seemed every time she would be thwarted by time running out and the priest being called to say Mass or some other pastoral responsibility. How could she keep her biweekly confessional commitment if she could not find a priest with the time to hear it?
Yet again, it seemed that time was running out and she would miss her chance. But wait, now she was the very next person in line. As she waited, a gentleman walked into the church and waited right outside the door of the confessional where she was waiting. Disheartened, she realized that this time would be no different. Sure enough, as soon as the penitent left the confessional, the man knocked on the door and the priest opened to see what was wanted. “Father, it is time for your meeting in the lounge.” Sadly, the woman waited to hear the priest's response. The priest turned and looked to see how many persons were waiting in line. He looked into the eyes of the woman with a gentleness hard to explain. There must have been at least five or more people waiting.
After a brief pause, he turned to the man and said, "Please, ask them to be so kind as to wait a little longer." He then turned and entered the confessional to hear more confessions. The woman entered the confessional and began to thank him for staying, trying to control her tears of thankfulness. It was Father Hardon, as you probably guessed long ago.

Father believed so strongly in the fruits of a good confession that he would go every day. When he was teaching the classes at Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor, he urged the students that every time they saw a priest, to go and ask him to hear their confession. "It is good for them. It helps them grow in holiness."
He would hear confessions anywhere. In fact, Marlene Elwell, traveled with Father to meet Mother Teresa in Washington, D.C. Mother Teresa was going to appear at the national prayer breakfast. Marlene explained that she and Father Hardon had a connecting flight back to Detroit. As they were waiting to board the plane, Father Hardon said he would be right back, that he was going to the bathroom. As time passed, no Father Hardon. As time came to board the plane, still no Father Hardon. Where was he? He missed his flight. She was frantic.
Once in Detroit she waited for the next flight and sure enough here comes Father Hardon.
"Father, what happened? I was so worried. I could not find you anywhere."
"Oh," he said. "There was a man in the bathroom who wanted me to hear his confession. It took some time. He hadn't been in forty years."

I could have also labelled this why I definitely think he will be declared a saint by the Catholic Church someday. But I do have to add that i personally have seen the fruit of his work in how it affected a priest from Illinois I know. This priest spent some time with Fr. Hardon back in the 90s. & it is clear to me that Fr. Hardon's lessons were not wasted on him.
In 2005, while still in St. Louis, The Most Rev. Raymond Leo Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis initiated his cause. The Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archive and Guild is responsible for the promotion of his cause. The website also has a link to The Real Pressence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association that he was associated with. the Association promotes Eucharistic Adoration as well as promoting authentic Catholic teaching about the Eucharist. In 1974 Fr. Hardon founded the Institute on Religious Life to foster and strengthen vocations to the consecrated life. He founded several other apostolates as well.
Fr. Hardon also wrote a catechism back in the 70s that was the textbook for a class I took in college. I still have that catechism & will regular refer to it. He was a very prolific writer.
Like Archbishop Sheen, Fr. hardon did much to promote the Catholic Church & her teachings. Like Archbishop Sheen, I believe he will 1 day be declared a saint. With all that is going on these days to undermine authentic Catholic teaching as well as the Catholic Church herself (from without as well as within), we need to have faithful sons & daughters like Fr. Hardon held up as a beacon showing us the way to Jesus.


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