V. — FALSE SHAME.
O God, how many souls shall, on account of this accursed shame, burn and burn forever in the very depths of hell! Some Christians, through human respect, and through fear of losing the esteem of others, easily continue for months and years to make sacrilegious Confessions and Communions. In the Chronicles of the Discalced Carmelites it is related that a young girl of great virtue consented to a sin against chastity; she concealed the sin three times in Confession, and went to Communion; after the third Communion she suddenly fell dead. Because she was regarded as a Saint her body was laid in a particular part of the church of the Jesuits; but after the obsequies were finished, and the Church closed, the confessor was conducted by two Angels to the place of interment; she came forth, fell on her knees, and threw from her mouth into a chalice prepared for them, the three consecrated Hosts which had been sacrilegiously received, and miraculously preserved in her breast. The Angels stripped her of the scapular; the miserable girl instantly presented a horrible aspect, and was carried out of sight by two devils.
But how can a Christian that has been so daring as to sin grievously against the Divine Majesty, and has thus merited hell, where he should suffer eternal shame, find an excuse before God for concealing a sin in Confession, in order to avoid the momentary and trifling confusion that would arise from confessing it to a priest? If he wishes to be pardoned by God, and to deliver himself from the hell he has deserved, the shame caused by the confession of his sin disposes him to receive pardon. It is but just that the man that has despised God should humble and confound himself. Adelaide, the sinner, gave a beautiful answer to the devil. Being called by God to a change of life, she was converted, and instantly resolved to make a good Confession; the devil placed before her eyes the shame that she should suffer in confessing all her sins, and said to her: “Adelaide, where are you going?” She courageously answered: “Filthy beast, do you ask me where I am going? I am going to confound myself and to confound you.”