Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hearing the Devil's Confession

This is the winning story of the "Priestly Anecdotes" competition sponsored by Catholic.net, which received 820 entries from presbyters in 78 countries.

Father Manuel Julian Quiceno Zapata, of the Diocese of Cartago, Colombia, won the competition with this story, and was awarded a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
As parish priest of a small village, I would often go out through the streets on Sunday, to greet people and give them a written catechesis, especially those who for different reasons did not go to church.

In the parish dedicated to St. Joseph, many had a habit that they fulfilled every Sunday without fail, as if it was a duty. This was to drink "some cold ones" -- as they called beer. Hence, it was easy to know where to find this type of "faithful," and he was also among them.

One day, when I finished my run, a lady approached me to ask me if I had recognized the "devil." According to her, I had greeted him and he had received one of the messages that I gave out.

I had not seen the "devil," or at least I don't remember having seen any woman or man who looked like him.

On another occasion I had to go to the neighboring village to help a brother priest, but the parish car broke down and so I needed someone to take me.

What was my surprise when on asking some persons who might help me with this service, a boy immediately said to me: "Father, if you like I'll call the 'devil' to take you."

You can't imagine what I thought at that moment. It seemed a joke, but then I accepted the proposal and that day I saw him for the first time.

I kept silent for a long time, as it was the first time I was making such a trip. Moreover, I thought, what can I talk about with the devil? Continue reading.

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