I Can’t Remember

From Ragamuffin Gospel by Brenning Manning

“Perhaps you’ve heard this story: Four years ago in a large city in the far West, rumors spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus.

The reports reached the archbishop. He decided to check her out. There is always a fine line between the authentic mystic and the lunatic fringe.

“Is it true, m’am, that you have visions of Jesus?” asked the cleric.

“Yes,’ the woman replied simply.

“Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession.”

The woman was stunned.

“Did I hear you right, bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?”

“Exactly. Please call me if anything happens.”

Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition.

“Please come,” she said.

Within the hour the archbishop arrived. He trusted eye-to-eye contact.

“You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do what I asked?”

“Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession.”

The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. his eyes narrowed. “What did Jesus say?”

She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes.

“Bishop,” she said, “these are his exact words: ‘I CAN’T REMEMBER.’”

One thought on “I Can’t Remember

  1. Your quoting Brennan Manning’s story reminded me of another story. This is from John Philip Newell’s The Rebirthing of God.

    “Gerald W. Hughes, the Scottish Jesuit priest and author of God of Surprises, likes to tell the imaginary story of Jesus visiting a modern family. The family is absolutely thrilled to have Jesus in their home. They are so thrilled that they decide to throw a party to introduce him to their friends. They love showing off Jesus. The party is a great success. The problem comes, however, when Jesus decides to stay. In fact, he decides to move in!. “This is very different from throwing a party. Jesus begins to bring all sorts of questionable types from the city streets back to the house. A lot of food is being consumed. The neighbors are complaining about plunging property values. It is all becoming far too demanding for the family. But then one of them has a bright idea. When Jesus is having his afternoon siesta. they will brick up his bedroom door. Then they will place a little altar in front of it, with beautiful candlesticks and a silver crucifix, and every time they pass the bedroom they will genuflect. This is how to deal with Jesus!”

    Have a meaningful week, Martha

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