Making Restitution

07-04-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.

Dear Friend,

A lady in the north of Ireland said that every time she got down before God to pray, five bottles of wine came up before her mind. She had taken them wrongfully one time when she was a housekeeper, and had not been able to pray since. She was advised by her pastor, Father Hearn, to make restitution.

"But the person is dead," she said.

"Are not some of the heirs living," asked the pastor?

"Yes, a son."

"Then go to that son and pay him back," said the priest.

"Well," she said, "I want to see the face of God, but I could not think of doing a thing like that. My reputation is at stake." She went away, and came back the next day to ask if it would not do just as well to put that money in weekend collection.

"No," said Father Hearn, "God doesn't want any stolen money. The only thing is to make restitution."

She carried that burden for several days, but finally went into the country, saw that son, made a full confession and offered him the value of what was taken. He said he didn't want the money, but she finally persuaded him to take it, and came back with a joy and peace that made her face radiant. She became a magnificent worker for souls, and led many back to Church.

My dear friends, get these stumbling stones out of the way. God does not want a person to shout "Alleluia" who doesn't pay his debts. Unconfessed sin can build up a great wall between us and God. A person may stand high in the community and may be a member of various associations "in good standing," but the question is, how does he or she stand in the sight of God? The Gospel teaches us that if there is anything wrong in your life, make it right.

Remember to pray always and never lose heart.