I remember many years ago, preaching at a funeral of an old, old man. And it was very difficult because there was an old man in the front pew who cried from his heart all during Mass. At the end of Mass, I went to speak to him and I said, “Was the man who died your friend? “He said, “Father, he was my brother. He was my only brother and we have not spoken for 50 years. And I was always coming to tell him I was sorry. I was always going to ask for his forgiveness. I was always going to visit him but I never did. And now it’s too late. And from beyond the grave I want him to forgive me, and I want My God to forgive me. “And I said to him, “What was the problem? What was the difficulty you had? He said, “I have forgotten. “How sad! How tragic! All those years he was carrying this heavy load, this burden because he never came to ask for forgiveness.

From the book: Reflections with Father Leo Clifford O.F.M.

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