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Here’s an excerpt from the June 24, 2021 Daily Devotional, by Mary Luti:
His seminary teachers thought John Vianney (1786-1859) was too stupid to be a priest. But his pastor said he was pious, so the bishop ordained him. Then he sent him to a backwater where he could do no lasting harm. But in Ars, population 230, Vianney found his gift. He was good at hearing confessions. He could patiently inhabit a confessional for hours on end, listening and probing, encouraging and consoling, pardoning in God’s name every soul who came. And come they did, from near and far. For forty years, up to eighteen hours a day, he absorbed every vice of the flesh, every grief of the heart, every disturbance of the soul they laid before him.
. . .
Thus it was that John Vianney became Saint John Vianney, by listening to people’s lives, receiving their unexpected gifts, and bearing their burdens. You can bear them, too. And you don’t have to sit in a confessional to do it.
Gracious God, give us the Spirit so that we may receive each other gently, listen to each other deeply, bear each other patiently, and fulfill the law of Christ.