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Put your hand on my neck

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#1 Norman Turner

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 06:15 PM

There is a story of a young man, perhaps a monk, who was plagued by a besetting sin.  No matter what he did he could not rid himself of it.  So he went to an old monk for help.  The young man was so ashamed that he would not speak of his sin, but wrote it on a piece of paper and placed it before the old man.  The elder said something to the effect:  Place your hand on my neck.  I will carry your sin for you.  Think of it no longer and go your way.


Does anyone know the the exact wording of the story?  And if so, where did it originate?  Was this story an actual occurrence?


Thank you.

#2 Dimitris


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Posted 01 December 2014 - 06:00 AM



I never heard this story. But it reminds me what my priest said to me when going to confession for the first time. He said "Nobody can take over your sins. If a confessor tells you he can take your sins on him, don't believe him and go for another confessor".

#3 Father David Moser

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 03:07 PM

We are called by Christ to bear one another's burdens.  The example cited - whether actual or not - is simply a demonstration of that truth.  A confessor does, in some ways, take the sins of his spiritual children on himself, in that having heard those sins, he feels their weight himself, but also having confessed the sins, they do not feel as weighty to the penitent.  It may simply be an illusion, but never the less it is a true occurrence.  Having heard many many confessions as a priest, I can tell you that I do indeed by the grace of God carry the weight of the sins of my spiritual children - and by that same grace the weight is bearable for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  This enables me to walk through life with my spiritual children and pray for them more effectively.


Fr David Moser

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