“Your soul is in danger.”

Confession

Title of the post taken from this dated piece at Regina I stumbled across today that kept me riveted to the end… a sign of good writing and a very good story.

Here’s an excerpt I hope will entice you to read the entire thing:

Looking around me, I saw that a light was on, above an old-fashioned confessional. There was a priest in there, safely concealed behind a screen.

The second I knelt behind that wooden door, a whole lake of tears I didn’t know was inside me welled up. Worse, before I could stop it, the dam broke and the lake poured out of me, in a continuous flow of wracking sobs.

“I-I’m s-sorry, F-Father,” I apologized, between gulps. I couldn’t speak. All I could do was cry.

“That’s all right, my dear,” said a sympathetic voice, with a soft Hispanic lilt. He pushed some Kleenex under the grille towards me, which I gratefully accepted. “Now, my daughter, you can start when you’re ready. I have time.”

It took me a few minutes to finally be able to speak, but when I did, all of my pain poured out. I told that priest about the grave, and the rabbi. About the hopelessness, and the despair. About Marcus, and his addiction. About my success, cold fury, and utter desolation.

“You are trapped by sin,” the priest said, when I had finally subsided. “Do you know what I mean by that?”

“N-no.”

“Sin is addictive. Because the Devil – you believe in him? I do. Well, the Devil, he wants us to be miserable. Hopeless. Despairing. This way he can do his dirty work more easily. If we are miserable, we are open to all kinds of bad things. And so, it goes, always downward, in a spiral. Do you understand me?”

“Y-yes,” I whispered, wondering where this was going.

“Ah, so here it is. Your husband comes from a family who is angry with God. So they deny His existence. Your husband denies His existence, too. Correct? You are with me so far?”

“Yes,” I affirmed, snuffling.

“This is very dangerous for them, because it makes them miserable. They stand at the edge of a grave and ask, why? And they receive no answer. It is only the grave that they see. Nothing more. And they know it is their end, too. An open grave is a distressing thing, no?”

“Yes,” I replied, the specter of the raw earth of the grave rising before me. I shivered involuntarily.

“So they are even more miserable. Even their rabbi cannot reach them. Though I do think there is hope for them, simply because they reached out to this rabbi. But this is not enough for your husband. His pain, his despair, sends him back to the drugs, correct?”

“Y-yes,” I nodded in the darkness.

“This is a situation where the Devil is dancing with delight. He is dancing because your husband and his family are choosing despair. Like his uncle, your husband is choosing death, over life. And this is very, very sad,” he sighed heavily.

I nodded again. This was all terribly true.

Go finish the piece… in fact, read the whole thing… and ponder it.

Truly.

Carry on.

Originally published at Brutally Honest.

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  • Paul Hooson

    Wow…No one wants to touch this one. It must hit too close to home or something…

    • Scalia

      ?? I thought it was a good read. What else is there to respond to?

    • I hope it does…

  • Brucehenry

    So do you guys believe that there is a literal Devil? A supernatural being who is evil incarnate? Not being a smartaleck.

    • Yes… absolutely… Both tradition and Holy Scripture affirm his existence and the evidence for his handiwork abounds…

      “Do not mock the Gospels and say there is no Satan. Evil is too real in the world to say that. Do not say the idea of Satan is dead and gone. Satan never gains so many cohorts as when, in his shrewdness, he spreads the rumor that he is long since dead. Do not reject the Gospel because it says the Savior was tempted. Satan always tempts the pure—the others are already his. Satan stations more devils on monastery walls than in dens of iniquity, for the latter offer no resistance. Do not say it is absurd that Satan should appear to our Lord, for Satan must always come close to the godly and the strong—the others succumb from a distance.”

      ~Fulton Sheen

      And this from Bishop Barron, the modern day Fulton Sheen if you will:

    • jim_m

      It’s a basic part of Christian faith

    • “The devil is no fool. He can get people feeling about heaven the way they ought to feel about hell. He can make them fear the means of grace the way they do not fear sin. And he does so, not by light but by obscurity, not by realities but by shadows; not by clarity and substance, but by dreams and the creatures of psychosis. And men are so poor in intellect that a few cold chills down their spine will be enough to keep them from ever finding out the truth about anything.”

      – Thomas Merton

  • Wild_Willie

    Jesus the Great High Priest

    …15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

    This is the reason for Jesus’ sacrifice. We can personally enter into God’s presence with our prayers and petitions. There is no need of ‘officials’ to act in Gods behalf. Just saying. ww

    • Amen.

    • Text taken out of context can be a pretext… and absent a magisterium that provides guidance, wisdom and Spirit led illumination, we’ll do little but contribute to Scriptural swordplay and inevitably to division.

      Your Hebrews text could easily be countered with:

      John 20:21-23:

      Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

      To say that there’s no need for ‘officials’ to act on God’s behalf is in fact your voicing what you believe to be an official statement… so in my view you negate your own words or worse, you set yourself up to be your own authority…

      Pope Wild Willie in essence.

      • Rick, Wild Willie did not quote the Bible out of context.

        Also in 1 Timothy 2:5, the Apostle Paul writes, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

        The ” magisterium” that gives Christians guidance is named the Holy Spirit. As Jesus says in John 16:13, “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (NIV)

        Still, if members of the Roman Catholic branch of the universal Church feel comfortable confessing their sins within a confessional booth, then so be it. I see no harm in such a tradition.

        • Mr. Robertson… quoting a single Scripture verse without taking the entirety of Scripture into account in the attempt to make a point is quoting the Scriptures out of context…

          You however are free to believe otherwise.

        • Wild_Willie

          Jesus sent out the disciples to apostatize. Look at Genesis 1 and you will see how God wanted to relate to humans.

          The Catholics have bent the word so much that millions think they will die in sin unless they confess AND be forgiven by a priest.

          We Christians are all priest with unique gifts that the Church needs. Not some overly clothed man who takes Jesus’ role and at times uses Mary to get around Jesus. Thank God for the printed press. ww

          • If you’re thanking God for the printed press that gave us Holy Scripture, the fact is that you’re thanking God for the Catholic Church you so abhor in your ignorance.