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Stories of Mary 7:
Too Ashamed to Confess

Mary touches hearts
even of the impure!

DISCOURSE:

Some persons, boasting of being free from prejudices, take great credit to themselves for believing no miracles but those recorded in the Holy Scriptures, esteeming all others as tales and fables for foolish women.

But it will be well to repeat here a just remark of the learned and pious Father John Crasset,1 who says that the bad are as ready to deride miracles as the good are to believe them; adding that as it is a weakness to give credit to all things, so, on the other hand, to reject miracles which come to us attested by grave and pious men, savours either of infidelity, which supposes them impossible to God, or of presumption, which refuses belief to such a class of authors.

We give credit to Tacitus and Suetonius, and can we deny credit without presumption to Christian authors of learning and probity? There is less risk, says Father Canisius, in believing and receiving what is related with some probability by honest persons, and not rejected by the learned, and which serves for the edification of our neighbour, than in rejecting it with a disdainful and presumptuous spirit.

EXAMPLE ONE:

A certain man in Germany had committed a great sin, and was ashamed to confess it, yet on the other hand he could not endure the remorse which he felt, and went to cast himself into the river; but just as he was on the point of doing so, he stopped, and bursting into tears, prayed God to pardon him without confession.

One night in his sleep he felt some one waking him, and heard a voice saying: Go and make your confession. He went to the church, but yet did not make his confession.

He heard the same voice a second night; again he went to the church, but after he had entered it, said that he would rather die than confess that sin.

He was about to return home when he thought he would go and recommend himself to the most holy Mary, before her image which was in the church.

He had hardly kneeled before it, when he felt himself entirely changed. He immediately arose, called for a confessor, and weeping bitterly, through grace received from the Virgin, made a sincere confession; and he afterwards said that he felt greater satisfaction than if he had gained all the gold in the world.2

EXAMPLE TWO:

A young nobleman was reading one day, while at sea, an obscene book, in which he took great pleasure. A religious said to him: “Now come, would you give something to our Lady?”

“Yes,” he answered; and the religious said, “I wish that, for love of the Holy Virgin, you would tear that book in pieces and cast it into the sea.”

“Here it is, Father,” said the young man. “No,” said the religious, “I wish that you yourself would make this offering to Mary.”

He did so, and when he returned to Genoa, his native place, the Mother of God so inflamed his heart with the love of God that he became a religious.3

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“Stories of Mary” are taken from the Glories of Mary, translated from the Italian of St. Alphonsus Liguori; New Revised Edition, P.J. Kennedy & Sons. Copyright 1888 by P.J. Kennedy

Notes:

  1. To. 2, tr. 6, prat. 20. t L. 8, de Deip. c. 18. [Back to text]
  2. Annal. Soc. 1650, Ap. Auriem. Aff. Scamb. t. 8, C. 7. [Back to text]
  3. Annal. Soc. 1650, Ap. Auriem. Aff. Scamb. t. 8, C. 7. [Back to text]