But Father Smith persevered in his ministry to McVeigh and the convicted murderer, who was a baptized Catholic, began to repent. "He did a lot of things, but in the end we had confession, reconciliation. In the end he asked me a question a lot of people ask me. He asked, 'Father Charles, can I still get to heaven?'"
The priest said he responded, "I am not your judge," but reminded McVeigh that he had told him, "You must submit your will and ask God for true forgiveness. ... You knew there were a lot of innocent people and children in that building."
This reminds me of yesterday’s post. We should never pass up an opportunity to foster reconciliation and redemption. Forgiveness does not mean removal of consequences and punishment. It does mean we seek justice not vengeance.
The death penalty so often seems to be about vengeance. Heinous crimes demand the highest level of punishment. But death seems too high. I really want the perpetrator of evil to repent and turn his soul over to God’s mercy for judgment. Maybe he will and maybe he won’t. But who am I to deny him that opportunity.
(H/T to Amy Welborn for the link)