“As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:10-11).
This verse comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, the longest of Paul’s epistles.
The book is the “most systematic unfolding of the apostle’s thought, expounding the gospel of God’s righteousness that saves all who believe; it reflects a universal outlook, with special implications for Israel’s relation to the church,” said the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
They were specially trained to administer the sacraments safely to those who were dying.
“I was able to visit people who could not even see their family in their final hours,” he said. “But through Confession and Holy Communion, they were able to see the Lord in their last days.”
One of those patients was a man in his 80s that Fr. Jaspers referred to as “Jim.”
Jim, explained Jaspers, “was very depressed and swore that his wife was about to leave him.”
Fr. Andrew Jaspers (shown here at left) is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Fox News Digital spoke to him about penitent sinners — and God’s great grace for those who want and work for salvation. (David Hrbacek)
“This defied reason in my mind, as a devoted wife does not abandon her husband in time of need,” he said.
Jaspers said he led Jim through the Catholic sacrament of Confession “of a more general sort, not touching on details.”
“Jesus Christ, in his abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church,” says the website Catholics Come Home.
Catholics believe the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is also known as Confession, absolves the penitent of sin. (iStock)
“The sacrament ‘washes us clean’ and renews us in Christ,” said the website.
When Fr. Jaspers visited Jim the day after he heard his confession, “he was like a new man,” he said.
“He told me of how he hadn’t felt like this in years. He said that he cannot imagine taking his life and that this is the furthest thing from his mind now.”
As a hospital chaplain, Fr. Jaspers was part of a special team during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is pictured here in full protective gear. (David Hrbacek )
Even Jim himself was confused as to how he was able to reveal such an intense secret to his wife.
“I said, ‘You made a confession, Jim.’ He said, ‘I don’t have a cubicle for that’ — meaning that he had no category for that.”