Dominic heard many confessions, of course. Each day since beginning this procedure, Dominic had heard from many in Heaven's Host. Of course, as an Archangel, this was not difficult. He could be in many places, he could do many things, he could be many people. Now, he heard the confession of a teary-eyed reliever, expecting to have the Archangel smite it, but too burdened with the Sin of Avarice to do otherwise. He listened to the confession of a powerful Word-Bound, who had acted as the enemy would to trap them, but now felt the pains of his methods. He heard from the mighty and the weak, the high and the low. The contrite and the profane.
It was, he reflected, why one needed confession in the first place. And perhaps there was perspective to be found.
He settled in the booth, and quietly heard another enter on the other side.
"Forgive me father," the voice whispered, "for I have sinned. I have never confessed."
"I see," Dominic said, smoothly. He had heard several who said the same. The giving and taking of Confessions, while always a function of Judgement, was new throughout Heaven -- at least in this form. "You may tell me your sins, my child, and I might give you penance and redeem them. In Judgement's Name and the Lord's."
There was a long pause.
"My Son?" Dominic prompted.
"I... must confess the Sin of Doubt," the voice whispered.
"Yes... doubt in myself. In my choices. In my methods. Doubt that I have done right, though I do so in the name of righteousness."
"I see. Can you give examples of this doubt?"
"It is... not a thing for examples. I must present the image of confidence. I must forever be resolute. Yet I doubt. Yet to present a false image is... not a lie, perhaps, but enough of one that it is wrong. I must confess that sin."
Ah. A Seraph. He had heard such confessions before. Several needed to be shriven merely for the sin of possessing Roles against Divine Truth. Dominic himself was a Seraph. He could understand this. "I see," he said quietly. "So you have doubted, but are compelled to show no doubt, my Child?"
"What more is there to confess, child?"
"I see? In what?"
"I... had the hubris to believe that... the very Fall could be prevented. That it was under control. When it happened, I had the... *have* the hubris to blame myself."
"The Fall itself?" Dominic leaned over, the Inquisitor coming to the fore, even in the Confessional. "How could you be responsible for the Fall? You must explain this."
"All will be explained, Father. But... not now. You will understand the truth of it soon. Please...."
"Mm. It is hard for me to shrive you your sins when you will not elaborate on them, my Son. This is the Confessional -- your place to admit your wrongdoings and learn the penance to redeem yourself."
"...I do not know if I deserve Redemption. I have come so far, Father...." The voice was still a whisper, but there were perhaps tears in it.
"You must believe in the Lord and in the work we do in his Name, Child. You must have Faith. If you lack Faith, you lack the Lord. That way lies the path of the Outcast."
"I know... I know... I have faith in the Lord, Father. But can I have Faith in myself?"
"A selfish attitude. You yourself are not God, and must never mistake yourself for the Lord. You must always remember -- as must we all -- that the Lord has set us to our tasks, and we must perform them. In His holy name, of course, but never setting ourselves above the work."
"Then... I must confess a sin of selfishness too, Father."
"So I see. So I hear." Dominic took a breath. "Must you confess more, Child?"
"Perhaps... but... that will be for another day, Father. I have duties."
"You place your own duties before the state of your Angelic soul?" Dominic asked, perhaps sharply.
"I would not wish to."
"That isn't an answer."
"This is a confessional, Father. You will know me outside the Confessional. If you must, I will submit to any investigation."
Dominic opened his mouth, then closed it. The penitent had the right of it. Itself commendable. The Most Just must remember that Justice sometimes was dependent upon time and place.
"Very well," he said. "You must recite the Prayers of your faith through the night. You must eat nor drink for a fortnight. You must examine the core of your doubt and weigh whether you are fit for your duties." At that, Dominic could hear quiet tears. He continued. "You must make yourself known to the Archangel of Judgement, that he might investigate your claims of responsibility in the Fall. And you must prostrate yourself in prayer for no less than one full month, that you remember that God is in the Higher Heavens and you are not, and you are not he, but instead do his work, in the name of Selflessness."
The tears slowly stopped. "I will do these things, Father."
"Then go, my Son. The Lord will Bless you. Sin no more."
The door opened, slowly, and Dominic, his Cloak and Hood around him, slowly emerged from the Confessional. His bearing was, as always, inscrutable.
"Your... pardon, Most Just?"
Dominic turned, to see a Servitor of the Sword behind him. "I was waiting," he said. "Shall I return later? To confess?"
Dominic pointed silently to the confessional box. The penitent's side was open, the confessor's was closed.
"Oh... I had thought...."
"Your confessor awaits, Wheel. Enter." The Archangel turned, and made his way from the Cathedral. And elsewhere, he sat in darkness, about to hear the confessions of an Ofanite. And elsewhere he heard more confessions. And elsewhere others of Dominic were visiting his Servitors as he did. But this Dominic made his way out of the Cathedral, to perform his Penance as a good Servitor of the Lord should.
And Sin no more. And do his Duty. And release Selfishness and Pride. But not let his charges falter. But never mistake his will and judgement for the Lord's. But yet, to be the Lord's Judgement.
He spoke to no others as he walked.
Back to the INC Mainpage.
Back to the Resources page.
In Nomine Collection Curator