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Pardon and Peace: A Sinner's Guide to Confession [Paperback]

By Francis Randolph (Author)
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Item description for Pardon and Peace: A Sinner's Guide to Confession by Francis Randolph...

Fr. Francis Randolph presents a very positive and practical understanding of the immense value of the sacrament of confession for the modern Catholic. Father Randolph helps the reader to see how the sacrament of confession meets the deepest needs of the penitent on the spiritual, emotional and psychological levels. Step by step we follow the different stages of the rite, looking at the various elements of the sacrament and what they mean for the average sinner in the box. The author draws on his own experiences, on both sides of the grille, to explain what is actually happening in this sacrament, and why it is so helpful for growing in the love of God and neighbor. Because of so much recent confusion over the nature and purpose of the sacrament, the book tackles the common objections and anxieties over confession, and recommends frequent confession for getting rid of stress and anxiety, and growing in confidence before God.

Publishers Description
Fr. Francis Randolph presents a very positive and practical understanding of the immense value of the sacrament of confession for the modern Catholic.

A parish priest with much experience in the confessional, Father Randolph helps the reader to see how the sacrament of confession meets the deepest needs of the penitent on the spiritual, emotional and psychological levels.

Fr. Randolph shows that confession is really about happiness. It is about how to get rid of all our nagging feelings of guilt; how to be relaxed and at peace, knowing that God truly loves you. He says it is that deep love of God that makes the sacrament of confession possible. Confession reflects the heart of the Christian gospel, the message of God's love and forgiveness.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   185
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.23" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 24, 2001
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  089870832X  
ISBN13  9780898708325  
UPC  008987083207  

Availability  2 units.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Pardon and Peace: A Sinner's Guide to Confession?

Every sinner should read this  Feb 11, 2008
There is little doubt that, in the past forty years, the Sacrament of Penance's importance has diminished in the practice of the faith of many Catholics. There is also the more than alarming fact that many young Catholics born in those forty years have had little if any formation in the meaning and importance of this sacrament. These unhappy phenomena explain the many calls for a revival in the practice of individual confession with which the pontificate of Pope John Paul II was permeated. Francis Randolph's Pardon and Peace: A Sinner's Guide to Confession is a practical response to the urgent need for a renewal of teaching about and the practice of this sacrament.

Randolph works systematically through the various parts of the sacrament, elucidating their meaning and giving the practical advice that only and experienced confessor could give. The author also draws from his experience as a penitent, resulting in a book which provides an appreciation of confession from both sides of the grille.

The book strongly, and wisely, advocates frequent confession, warning that abandoning this salutary practice is "an easy trap to fall into, the idea that because we are not conscious of committing any sins worth talking about, we do not need to go to confession." Randolph likens this to people who stop taking their prescribed medication and then wonder why they are no longer well. "It is the same with regular confession," he asserts. "If we stop doing it because we think we are now so perfect that we do not need it any more, we may not notice the deterioration in our behaviour, but everyone else will."

Randolph is refreshingly clear that general absolution is "an insult to the people" which if "done in defiance of the clear instructions of the Church...cannot be said to be a true sacrament." The response of an African priest who alone has the pastoral care of six thousand parishioners, when asked whether he used general absolution frequently, eloquently illustrates the author's stance:

"No...I couldn't treat my people like that! I have four hours of confessions every Saturday, then I come out of the box and count off a hundred more people whom I will hear, and I send the rest away till next week."

There are, however, some unfortunate features of Randolph's text. In the earlier part of the book he repeatedly states that absolution is "the assurance of God's forgiveness." Alas, such an expression is quite protestant, and stands in contradistinction to the language of the Council of Trent and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. To be fair, Randolph's orthodoxy is clear from his treatment of absolution later in the book, but one would have hoped for better theological language earlier on.

Secondly, he continually uses a remarkably subjective definition of sin: "something damaging to the happiness of the perpetrator or of other people." The word "happiness" requires qualification - "true" would make all the difference. After all, does not C. S. Lewis' masterful Screwtape Letters remind us that the basic strategy of the devil is to persuade us that happiness is to be found through what others call sin?

In an age where scruples are rare and consciences are by and large numb, one might also argue about the pastoral prudence of Randolph's emphasis on the difficulty of committing mortal sin, and of asserting that confession is rarely strictly necessary. There is some wisdom in the practice of submitting all grave matter to the judgement of a confessor. This is, of course, inherent in Randolph's promotion of frequent confession. His advice is clear:

"Bring all your sins before the Cross in confession, and leave them there without bothering to analyse the exact decree of sinfulness. God's grace is quite sufficient to sort them all out; you can leave the confessional confident that you are forgiven and that God loves you."

In spite of these reservations, for Catholics who have been away from Confession for some time, for those whose year of birth deprived them of the systematic Catholic formation enjoyed by earlier generations, for those seeking to renew their appreciation and use of this most wonderful sacrament of God's mercy, and for those whose solemn privilege it is to teach and form others in the faith, this book has much to offer.
A Must Read for All Catholics  Sep 5, 2007
In Pardon and Peace, Fr. Francis Randolph shows Catholics the immense value of Confession. Whether you are a person who receives this sacrament on a regular basis, or if you're someone who has been away from the Sacrament for a while, this is a wonderful guide to deepen your spiritual faith through Confession. Fr. Francis writes in simple, everyday language, but in this simplicity comes some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read.
Nuts and Bolts Approach to Confession  Jan 10, 2003
Fr. Francis Randolph takes a practical and personable approach to the sacrament of confession. This is a helpful book for Catholics who have been away from the sacrament for some time, or for Catholics who are wondering if they go too often ("scruples").

The book is structured into eleven chapters, encompassing the entire form of the sacrament. From "Bless me Father for I have sinned" to "the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary," Fr. Randolph explains both the form and meaning of each part of the sacrament.

Mixed in with the theological and canonical discussions, Fr. Randolph brings in the practical experience he has, from ministering to a large congregation in England. Fr. Randolph shares humerous and poignant stories, engaging the reader in an otherwise dry topic. Fr. Randolph takes pains to explain the changes since Vatican II, and encourages Catholics to engage in the new forms. He also addresses common questions such as, "how often should I go to confession?" and "what is a sin?".

This is a worthwhile read for all Catholics who want to understand confession. At 185 pages, it is a short but valuable addition to Catholic studies.

A Needed Guide  Jan 5, 2003
Fr. Randolph has written a highly useful work for Catholics who regularly use the sacrament of penance and for those Catholics who are coming back to the sacrament after much neglect. He provides topical advice relevant for today's society. For example, he gives guidance on the common situation in which people realize years later that their prior lifestyle was in fact gravely sinful. His recommendation is that, in spite of their lack of knowledge, they should still bring these sins to confession. This situation in which many people can actually be ignorant of gravely sinful conduct, especially sexual conduct, is common today among younger generations because the wider society now accepts as normal what the Christian moral tradition has always viewed as seriously wrong. This particular situation is but one example of the instances where Fr. Randolph gives needed advice for today's Catholic. When so many pulpits are unfortunately silent on the need for the regular use of this sacrament, Fr. Randolph has written a guide that is sorely needed in order to renew the role of this sacrament in the Church.
An excellent guide for all Christians  Feb 22, 2002
In this well-organized book the author writes clear, straightforward prose that provides wise and kind-hearted guidance to the much-misunderstood sacrament of confession.

The book is valuable for persons who aren't Catholic or Christian but want to understand the Biblical and historical origins of Confession. It is also quite helpful to anyone new to the Church and unsure of how to confess, or to a lapsed Catholic considering a return. Even a Catholic who regularly goes to Confession will find it most helpful and enlightening.

The contents include both excellent practical guidance in what and how to confess, and also concise explanations of the history and disputes surrounding Confession, including the notorious topic of Indulgences (which turn out to be far more reasonable in their origins than you are likely to realize, even though they eventually became a source of corruption the Church had to reform).

The author is associated with one of the religious communities known as Oratories that the brilliant convert John Henry Newman established in England, which helps to explain both his admirable writing style and his well-balanced spirituality--he avoids the extremes of harshness and lazy indifference.

As the author makes clear, Christ established Confession not to burden us with guilt but rather as an honorable way to relieve us of guilt so that we might approach the holy joy of the saints: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."


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