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The confessing nun and the true confessing father
63,1. The moment the nun arrives at her cell, she gives the porter a sign to come to her cell by ringing a bell. What would she tell her? This is only about calling a confessing father, in order to purify herself from her committed sin against the superior before the choir prayer. The porter immediately organizes the situation and our nun goes to the confession chair, kneels before theconfession chair and wait upon the confession father. We shall now go there and listen to such a confession for a bit. We know what she shall confess, but what the confession father would answer her we do not know, but we want to hear it.
63,2. The confession father comes, sit down and put his ear to the grid. She has confessed, and he says to her: listen, my dear confessor, with the rule of the order as it exists upon earth, you have clearly sinned, but not to God’s order, for it makes you think such; but indeed, according to the order of the monastery, which prohibits you to think like that. For the transgression, you have committed against the order of the monastery you have received the appropriate chastisement and then you have again subjected yourself to the rest of the order. Now all is about the forgiveness of sins from God’s side. But God has never made such a monastic order to be law. Being human ordinances, even if they were in use for thousands of years, God never ratified them to be His. He does not look to see whether someone has in a certain sense transgressed worldly ordinances out of necessity and therefore can I not forgive you anything from God’s side.
63,3. Our nun says to the confessor: most honorable priest, you who sits before me on the chair of Godly justice, how could you say that our monastic order and its rules are not a Godly, but only a human institution? Look, if I would tell this to my superior, we both are in danger of very sensitive chastisement. She shall treat me to be one possessed by the devil, but you shall be excommunicated as a true heretic, or even be given the ecclesiastical ban. Do explain to me with more clarity what you mean.
63,4. The confession father says: listen, my dear sister, whoever loves Christ the Master as the only true God of heaven and earth above all, is neither afraid of excommunication or of an ecclesiastical ban. Look, the people upon earth who clings to the worldly and knows very little or nothing about Christ is currently laughing at such an ecclesiastical high-handedness. Why would they laugh? For they do not see any damage done to their career by such high-handedness. Why would they who truly love Christ, not laugh? They have incurred even less damage from this high-handedness.
63,5. Have you never heard what the Christ has once said in the temple to the adulteress when the Pharisees have brought her to Him because she should have been stoned according to the law of Moses?
63,6. Our confessor says: I know it well, but what do you want to say by that?
63,7. I want to say nothing other with this, the confessing father says that Christ is much softer in His judgment than the priests and scribes. They have condemned the adulteress without any mercy and compassion and without hesitation, to public stoning; but Christ tells them: “Whoever of you is without sin, can throw the first stone on her!”
63,8. Look, with these words have the Pharisees and the scribes been hit as if with lightning, for there exist yet another law, according to which the highest priestly order should be free of sin. The Pharisees and the scribes know just as well of this law as they do about the law about adulterous women, but they also know that they themselves have committed this sin of adultery in every respect, both physically as spiritually. They, therefore, take such a fright at this exceptionally piercing answer, that they all, without exception, completely forget about our adulteress and removed themselves quickly. They do not want to irritate Christ anymore this time, for they feared that He would make their reproach known to all the many believing Jews, which would take hold of them and treat them as the law of Moses expressly prescribed for such cases. But what then happened with our adulteress? She stands there alone. Have the Master condemned her? Oh no, He asks her: have those who brought you here not condemned you? Our adulteress says: oh no, Master, no one has condemned me. And He said to her: So do I not condemn thee; Go, and sin no more. Now, what do you say to this action of the Lord?
63,9. Our sister says: I can impossibly say anything other than that the Master truly is more compassionate and merciful that all good people on earth together. The confession father says: good, my dear sister, if you see the Master thus, then you shall understand that my advice is completely valid! If the Master, in His mercy, does not bind Himself to the law of Moses which have come forth from Him, in the case of the adulteress, how much less would He bind Himself toa monastic rule. For see, the Master is completely free and can do whatever He wants. If anyone should ask Him: Master, what are you doing? He shall give him no answer. I as the confession father am sent to you completely in His Name and I therefore also carries His Name. When I act according to this Name, tell me, who do I have to fear?
63,10. You say: certainly not the Master, for you have acted completely in His Name! Well, if I do not have to fear Him, should I then fear your monastery or the ecclesiastical authority? Oh see, this is by no means the case; And therefore, I tell you, if you have a true love unto the Lord, then also dare from this love, that you may go now, and say unto your superior, which I have told you; And then tell her that she should immediately come here with you.
63,11. Our nun asks what she should do to satisfy penitence.
63,12. The confession father says nothing other than what I have just told you.
63,13. Our nun now gets up, but because our superior is beginning to become suspicious that our nun is staying away for so long, she is meeting her on the threshold of the little confession chamber, where our sister tells her what the confession father has said. The superior almost falls over backward in fright and say to our sister: just see what a sin you have committed! The mercy of God has completely retreated from you; a devil has taken on the form of an angel of light and has taken possession of the confession chair as a confession father to give you such a cursed teaching. He also wants me to speak with Him for the whole monastery to be pulled down into eternal damnation because I am the soul of the monastery. Yes, I indeed have often thought by myself that you would once plunge this holy house of God into misfortune. No, we have no other recourse than to powerfully unite and present our great need before the most blessed virgin Mary, the holy Joseph, and the Holy Theresia. If she does not answer us, then we are lost, for then there are no mercy and compassion with God anymore!
63,14. Our sister says to the dignified woman: very honorable mother, you can say what you want, but after this lesson of this most worthy confession father, I have no more faith in your words and would much rather die if it were possible, than to allow the slightest doubt in myself in the teaching of this worthy confession father.
63,15. The dignified superior now wants to give our sister a slap on her mouth out of pure monastic zeal. But our confession father has the audacity to break through the confession grid, for which he has sufficient power, and remove our sister from such maltreatment. What would happen further, we shall see next time.
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