Grave Matter

Before entering the monastery and receiving the name “Columba”, Joseph Marmion was a priest in the archdiocese of Dublin. From a letter written to a friend from seminary days in 1881:

I prefer the hearing of confessions to any other duty. I never found any difficulty as yet although I have a great many penitents, even from other parishes & from Dublin. I believe that very much less “geny” is required than is generally thought; great kindness & patience are everything & the principle sacramenta propter homines ( et mulieres) : of course you must know that if a man steals a pound he must restore it, & that murder, drunkenness etc, are sometimes mortal sins; beyond this, you very seldom get a “casus.” …

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