The Word Among Us

Saints & Christian Heroes Resources

St. Alphonsus de Liguori

The Gentle Shepherd

By: Patricia Mitchell

An eighteenth-century European Catholic seeking to please the Lord might have had reason to despair. The prevailing theology of the day depicted God as a stern taskmaster who laid impossible burdens on his creatures. In this view, God expected blind obedience to a long list of rules.

It was not uncommon for confessors to withhold absolution and discourage people from receiving Communion too frequently. The law seemed

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