Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The power of confession

From Holy Cross Family Ministries
Fr. Robert deLeon, CSC
"Many years ago two rowdy teenagers were in an empty church in Paris. They were splashing the holy water on each other, kicking over chairs, shouting and roaring and generally being a pain in the neck. Suddenly the door of the sacristy opened and an old priest shuffled out into the church. He didn't pay any attention to the two boys but went into a confessional box.
One boy asked, 'Who is he? What's he doing?' The other boy replied, 'He's just an old priest going to hear confessions.' The first one said, 'Let's go in and have a laugh.' The other boy agreed and they went into the confessional box, one on either side of the priest."
After a few minutes the first emerged and then later the other came out. The first boy asked, 'What did he say to you?' The second responded, 'I think he must be nuts. He told me to stand in front of that big crucifix on the altar and say three times: You did this for me and I couldn't care less.' The other replied, 'That's exactly what he told me to do. Shall we do it?' Replied the other, 'Sure, why not? It'll be good for a laugh.'
So the two boys stood in front of the large crucifix and said, 'You did this for me and I couldn't care less.' There was a pause, and by the second recitation the two vandals had fallen to their knees, stuttering and snuffling as they said, 'You did this for me and I couldn't care less.' By the third recitation two young men were lying face down on the stone floor of the church sobbing their hearts out."
This story was first told many years ago by the great Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean Verdier (1864-1940). The Cardinal finished the tale by confessing, 'I know this story to be true because I was one of those boys.'"
(Original source unknown)

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