Every once in a while I get a question about Fr. John Corapi, once a highly sought and popular speaker who influenced a lot of people. He eventually had a sort of train-wreck in his life and dropped out of sight. Corapi comes to my mind occasionally because we were, coincidentally, ordained together. I didn’t know him at the time. He was just another one of the guys being ordained that day.
This upcoming 26 May will be our 30th anniversary.
When queried about Fr. Corapi, I haven’t been able to give any news, until now. I was sent a link to a piece by Matt Abbott at RenewAmerican.com about him. HERE
It seems that Fr. Corapi has reconciled with his religious society (SOLT) and has living as a monk, praying and doing penance.
If this is indeed the case, then good for him. We should all be happy when a person turns around.
It amazes me that some people who profess to be Christian are so fast to thrown a repentant and converted person’s past life in their teeth. Don’t we want, and hope for and pray for the conversion of sinners? When they do, shouldn’t we rejoice? We don’t have to make them our best friends all of a sudden. We might not rouse ourselves up to be able to like them very much. But we should at least be as gracious toward them as we would hope they would be to us were the situation reversed, had we done the harm.
For example, I would be over the moon were someone like Joe Biden publicly to denounce his evil positions about abortion. I certainly wouldn’t continue to drub him with his past positions if he genuinely changed and made it public. I would be ecstatic were certain Jesuits to reverse their ways.
We need to be merciful not just toward the repentant and converted, but also toward the unrepentant and even malicious who continue in their evil work. Mind you, I do NOT mean Fr. Corapi in any way as the latter. He has, to my knowledge, never directed any harm in my direction. But there are those who have.
I regularly pray for my enemies, people who even now are harassing and slandering me, people who have done unjust harm. I say Masses for them. I genuinely want them not to die in their sins and go to Hell. I sincerely hope they will attain the bliss of heaven. I ask God to give them what they truly need, what is truly good for them for repentance. Were they to apologize for the harm they’ve done I would warmly forgive them, even as I strive to forgive them now, in advance. I take as a model, St. Thomas More who in his final letter to Henry VIII hoped: “I should once meet with your Grace again in heaven, and there be merry with you”.
“[I]f you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
A stance of unforgiving rigidity is lethal to one’s own soul.