Saturday, August 25, 2012

Confession and Coffee

            Men usually do not like to go for confession, because of pride, prejudices, shame or other reasons. Knowing this, Don Orione thought about an interesting way to invite them for confession. He published in a pamphlet:

To Men and young men,

            My dear friends,

            It is no longer a novelty this year, but it's always something good and holy to come to confession for Our Lady of Sake-keeping feast. 

             I invite you all to come to Our Lady of Sake Keeping Shrine overnight from Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th August. There will be a celebration for you, only for you: - No women! It's nice not to have women around! - At night, it is convenient for the woman to stay at home to keep their seriousness and good names (…) You can ask me: girls and young ladies? - Girls and young ladies leave you in peace, at least at night. They can go to sleep and to dream! We men, however, are another kettle of fish: the man must always stay on his feet, day and night, if it is needed.

            And when we go to the Lord, we must not deny Nicodemus, the one in the Gospel, who went to visit Jesus by night, when nobody saw him, (…)

            The man has to work during the day. You, young men, have also to sweat, you have to read the Gazzetta dello Sport; you do not have time and I do not pretend it so, come at night: Jesus will wait for us at night.

            Come willingly and without fear; perhaps sins, you know, are confessed better at night because you cannot see them. (…)

            You can also tell me your sins in good Tortona dialect. Begin from the biggest ones, even if they are not from Tortona. You can come to confession either to me or others, but especially to me, I go around the world and know all the sins. Sometimes, I also guess them; sometimes I smell them too. If you do not say your sins to me, I will say them to you with the help of God. I will put you in order in a jiffy and you will go happy and with peace in your hearts.

            Come on, good friends, courage! Say goodbye Saturday night. I expect you all.

            It's time to God, I call you in the name of God, Our Lady is waiting for us.

            If we do not put in order our conscience now, when will we do it? When death comes?

            But, will we have time then? Will it be a confession or confusion?

            It's time that you and I begin seriously to live as good Christians: the one who has time, does not wait anymore. My dear friends, we're not beasts, we have a soul, we must save it!

            Our Lady of Sake-keeping calls us: her voice is motherly and merciful: Come! - I'll be waiting for you.


            Fr. Orione

            P. S. Confession and coffee – After the Communion, please, do me the honour of receiving you all in the house behind the shrine. I'll offer you good coffee. I want to send you home, to your wives or mothers, leaving a sweet taste in your teeth and having happiness in your hearts. You can take two or three cups of coffee, but not twelve!! Or you will ruin me! [1]

[1] Scritti 52, 154, 52, 255 and 52, 256.

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