Saturday, December 05, 2009
On Our Repentance and God's Infinite Mercy
The Sorrow of the Student
There lived in the great city of Paris a young student who had committed many sins. God gave him the grace of sincere repentance. He went to the monastery of St. Victor in that city, and asked to be conducted to the Father Superior. As soon as he had entered the room he fell down at the feet of the priest, and began to make his Confession. But he had scarcely uttered a few words when he stopped. His sorrow was so great, and his tears so abundant, and his signs so continuous that he could not utter another word.
"Perhaps, my child." said the Father to him, "if you were to write down your sins on a piece of paper, you would be better able to confess them"
The student did this, and, going to a tablet wrote down the sins he had committed, and then returned to the priest.
As soon as he began to read them his tears again choked him, and he could not pronounce a word. The Confessor asked him to give him the paper, that he might know the sins he had committed. He gave it to him. But as there arose in his mind certain doubts about some things that were written there, he asked the permission of the penitent to go to the Father Abbot to obtain his advice.
This permission the penitent gave very willingly, and the Confessor went to the Abbot with the paper in his hand.
Having unfolded it, he was surprised to find that there was no writing on it at all. "This is most strange," he said. "A few moments ago I read his whole confession written on this paper."
They both examined the paper, and there was not the least mark or letter on it. It was pure and white. Then they knew that God had been pleased to show by this wonder that He had blotted out the sins from the man's soul, as He had blotted them from the paper they held in their hands.
- The Catechism in Examples by Rev. D. Chisholm
NAS Letter December 2009