Remove Stumbling Blocks

01-10-2021The 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 cases of Irish Whiskey 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 to make restitution by her pastor, Father Hearn.

"But the person is dead," she said. "Are not some of the heirs living?" "Yes, a son." "Then go to that son and pay him back."

"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 the Sunday collection. "No," she was told, "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 money. 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 into the light.

My dear friends, get these stumbling stones out of the way. God does not want any of us to shout "Hallelujah" who doesn't pay their debts. Many of our prayers can be echo-chambers because our lives are not right. Sin builds up a great wall between us and God. A person may stand high in the community and may be a member of associations "in good standing," but the question is, how does he or she stand in the sight of God?

Take the lesson, if there is anything wrong in you life, make it right.

Remember, pray always and never lose heart.