The boy in the Confessional

February 19, 2019

Even if we claim not to believe, we still experience the moral effects of guilt. Some years ago, one of the archbishops of France, the archbishop of Paris, was preaching a sermon in which he said, 'Years ago, some boys came into Notre Dame Cathedral and stood outside a confessional box, and they bet one another, 'Who is brave enough to go in and make a mock confession? We will give ten francs to anyone who does it.' One boy said he would go in and make a mock confession. So he went in and made a mock confession, and he was given a penance. He came out and asked for the ten francs. They said, 'Well, you haven't said your penance. You must have received one. What is your penance?' So he walked up to the communion rail and knelt before a crucifix, and he raised his fist and he said to our Lord on the cross, 'You died for me, but I don't give a ___.' He couldn't finish it.' The archbishop concluded the sermon saying, I am that boy.