A story of a priest and Timothy McVeigh's redemption:
"When I first came in (to see him) I thought 'God is the owner of my life,' and I went to him and he threw his feces on me and called me all types of names and said, 'You can't be a priest because I've never seen a you-know-what as a priest,'" Father Smith said Aug. 5. "The devil was messin' with me."
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?'"
Wow, I hadn't heard the end of that story. Maybe there's hope for murderers, with time and patient ministry of the Gospel. It maybe a good enough reason for the period of time between conviction and execution, time for the hardened to seek God and His mercy. Though an evil of claimed necessity, the death penalty may be a mercy in itself, if one has been reconciled with God before death, slain by the State in a state of Grace.
I certainly hope that Timothy's repentance was genuine, and that he's washed his robe in the Blood of the Lamb.