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Hello Father,

I would like you to clarify these matters for me:

– What does it mean, “leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” when Jesus gave this warning.

– With regard to the meaning of “Promised Land where milk and honey flow”.  What exactly does Jesus mean by this rhetorical place?  Personally, I don’t think it refers only to the fertility of the land of Israel.

– My last point. The new priest of the parish near my house, after a confession, invited me to meet, by appointment, to get to know me a little better so that he could advise me better. When I told him about my difficulties on the spiritual journey, I told him about the difficult struggle I encountered in temptations against impurity. However, he treated the subject using vulgar terms (which young people generally use in spoken language) to indicate parts of the body and acts. I hope you understand me without me going into detail.

I was taken by surprise by that language and I did not have the boldness to tell him to use language more suited to his ministry, so I ask you what I should think. Obviously, I’m not here to judge him, but I honestly tell you that I don’t want to go back to him and I won’t go back to him. It surprised me a lot because during the homilies I liked him for his calmness, but then,… with the same calmness, he used these terms with me.

Thank you for reading and may Our Lady make you a beautiful gift to offer to God.

My dear,

1. About the leaven of the Pharisees, the Lord himself meant when he said, “Beware of the leaven – that is, the hypocrisy- of the Pharisees” (Lk 1 2: 1). Hypocrisy consists in saying one thing to hide the opposite that one is thinking and above all doing. It is duplicity.

2. The land flowing with milk and honey is an expression that occurs for the first time in Ex 3:8 and indicates the promised land. At the same time, it also indicates that the goods are abundant in that territory, sufficient not only for what is necessary but also for what can bring pleasure. Honey and milk have always been appreciated in every age.

3. Now I come to the most painful and shameful chapter of your email. The Lord said that everyone speaks from the abundance of his heart, “The mouth expresses what overflows from the heart” (Mt 12:40). A priest who uses the language you told me about has nothing to advise you for your spiritual life. He needs to be advised and above all corrected.

4. I would also like to say that vulgar and dirty talk is a sin. God said, “Let not your mouth become used to course talk, for in it lies sinful matter” (Sir 23:13).  And again, “Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place” (Eph 5: 3-4).

5. My advice, unfortunately, is to decline any other invitations from that priest and to be careful. How I would like you to find a priest like father Giovanni Bosco! There was no hint of impurity on his lips.

 Thank you very much for the final part of your email, “may Our Lady make you a beautiful gift to offer to God.” What is more beautiful than this? I ask you for a prayer so that it can be like this.

I will remember you this evening in the Mass and then also in my prayers so that the same beautiful thing may happen to you too.

I bless you.

Father Angelo