Monday, August 26, 2013
Sins Committed While in Church are Most Serious

 “We read in the little book, called the Ladder of Heaven, that a pious priest who was making his thanksgiving after Mass, near the altar, once saw a devil in the shape of a man writing rapidly on a piece of parchment, and when he came to the bottom of the page, he took it in his teeth, and pulled it out so as to make it wider. The priest, after various exorcisms, commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to read aloud for the people what he had written. The devil obeyed and in a loud voice cried out: ‘On this parchment I have written all the greetings, conversations, curious and impure looks, indecent behavior, unchaste desires, and, in a word, all the irreverences and sins that the people of this place have been guilty of this morning in church, in order to present them before the judgment-seat of God; for there are no sins that cause us so much satisfaction, as those which are committed in church, because thereby God is treated with the greatest insult and contempt.’ Ah, Christians, if one of those hellish spies were to stand here in our midst, and read out the list of sins that have been committed in our churches during a single year; what a fearful number there would be, even of those of which we take not the least notice! But if he were to call out the names of the guilty ones, and to say: such and such a one has thought, looked, spoken, or acted in such and such a manner in the church; he has hitherto behaved disrespectfully in different ways; how many there are who would have to hide their heads for shame! But the time will come, when everything shall be shown plainly to the whole world; although the punishment may not be deferred till then.” 

— Fr. Francis Hunolt, S.J.

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