St. John Nepomucene
St John was the chaplain to the court of King Wenceslaus. Among those who sought his advice was the empress. The king tried to extort her confession from the saint. The saint was silent. When the king found that neither threats nor blandishments moved the saint, he ordered him to be thrown into the river.
The Lord hath given me a tongue for my reward, and with it I will praise Him. I said: I will take heed to my ways that I sin not with my tongue. — Introit
The Imitation of Christ
It is easier to keep silence altogether than not to fall into excess in speaking.
You know the story of St. John’s refusal to betray the secrets of the confessional. Let it be an assurance to you should you ever be tempted to conceal anything of importance in the sacred tribunal.
If you wanted very much to speak to your father by telephone, would you stop long to consider whether the phone were a desk phone or an old shabby looking one on the wall? When we go to confession, we must think we are speaking out our soul’s sickness to the Divine Physician through the priest who is merely the instrument. In our own small minds, we sometimes pass judgment on the priest, forgetting that he is doing us a deed of mercy to act as our means of communication with Jesus Himself.
Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.