In reading Pere Lataste words during a retreat to the women in Cadillac prison, in 1864, I am constantly struck by his words, "I shall be more than your brother...call me 'Father', and I shall call you 'my children.'... There will be established... the most cordial intimacy possible."
The good friar is talking about confession. Imagine, having a Confessor like Pere Lataste. Imagine the most cordial intimacy possible. That is sitting with and before Jesus, in that confessional. Bless me Father for I have sinned.
And I, so unworthy as a minister of God consecrated to the service of the altar, vowed for all my life to the absolute privation of all that you have misused, voluntarily bound by perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Yet I come to you, without waiting for you to call me. I hold out my hands to you and I call you my poor, my dear sisters! And that is not just a meaningless phrase; I am ready to do even more for you. If you have the will and desire, you have only to present yourself in the confessional. I shall be more than your brother. A relationship will be created which is the most wonderful and the most loving known to this world. You will call me “Father”, and I shall call you “my children”. There will be established between us the most frank, the most sincere, and the most cordial intimacy possible. I shall open my heart to you and you will open yours. These bonds, though only lasting a few days, will be so strong and so sacred that not even death can destroy them. We shall find these again in heaven, you and I, if we get there…