It seemed fitting that as we readied the Advent wreath’s violet and rose candles, we unpacked a violet treasure tucked away in an archive box: Father Gerald’s confessional stole. Carefully folded up in tissue paper with a simple handwritten note labeling it from the year of his death, “Father Gerald, s.P. Confession stole 1969”.
One wonders how many absolutions, how much mercy came through this stole over the decades. For that matter, every priest is a treasure of God’s merciful love when he extends Christ’s mercy and forgiveness over sinners in need of rising again. God is so good!