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.

I Know It Is Not Easy

“I know it is not easy. I know we have to begin again each day. I know the struggle is real. But we are not alone in the battle. The Lord Himself, who gave the philosophy, is within us to enable us to achieve success. And Our Lord is not talking about monetary problems. We may not have much to give, but we have a kind word, a smile, and a listening ear. We can make a phone call; we can visit a sick neighbor; we can go to the hospital; we can write a letter. What do we do with the love that God pours forth into your heart and mine, the love that is in us now, and everyone of us, as His child?”

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

Where You and I come With Our Sorrow and Our Sincerity.

The thief on the cross, this man, after a lifetime of evil, who must have emptied many pockets as he broke many hearts, here he is being given Heaven in a moment by the grand and noble gesture by the God whose name is Love.

Remember that same love and mercy and compassion and understanding is alive in the Church today with the same Lord, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Penance, where you and I come with our sorrow and our sincerity.

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

I Would Still Fling Myself Into the Arms of His Mercy

The Little Flower, that extraordinary French girl who died in a convent and Normandy at the age of 24, tells us that if she had not become a saint – become a Nun, rather – she would have become one of the great sinners of the world. She knew Him. She said, “Even though I should have every mortal sin in the world on my soul, I would still fling myself into the arms of His Mercy, knowing that He loves me.”

Is this the God who we know? Whom I know? Our challenge is to believe what He has revealed. And so much for His theory; what was He like in practice? How did He treat sinners? Magdalene, whom respectable people avoided, persons were taken away because she believed, because she loved.

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