Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

CHATEAUBRIAND GOES TO CONFESSION

François-René de Chateaubriand, the late 18th Century French writer, politician and bon-viveur, and a Knight of our Beloved Order, recounts the joyful experience of his First Confession, which will be a good reminder to many of us this Lent, especially perhaps our young members on Retreat in Walsingham this weekend, to avail ourselves fully of this great gift of the Church, to the protection and exaltation of our eternal souls.  Do not be afraid of Confession!
The schoolboy Chateaubriand is being prepared for his first confession by a severe-looking priest, “a man of fifty with a stern appearance” (in Robert Baldick’s translation). Having read a frightening book about the eternal fate of those who hide their sins in the confessional, the young lad grows unbearably anxious. When the day comes, he is shaking with fear and scarcely able to stammer out his sins. Then the priest prepares to say the words of absolution. 
If Heaven had shot a thunderbolt at me, it would have caused me less dread. I cried: 
“I have not confessed everything!”  
This awe-inspiring judge, this delegate of the Supreme Arbiter, whose face filled me with such fear, became the tenderest of shepherds. He clasped me in his arms and burst into tears.  
“Come now, dear child,” he said, “Courage!”
It was, Chateaubriand recalled, an instant of supreme happiness, like a mountain lifting from him: “I shall never experience a like moment in the whole of my life.”
We are grateful to the inimitable Father Zulzdorf for this quotation.

The illustration above, of Chateaubriand's entry into our Order, as the quotation, come from his autobiography, Mémoires d´outre-tombe (1841).  The illustration, oddly, shows what appears to be a rite of tonsure, but in a lay context.  This is not the subject of this post but someone might wish to look into it.