Brennan Manning tells the story that a few years ago in a large city in America, rumours spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus. The reports reached the archbishop and He decided to check her out to see if she was authentic.

“Is it true, ma’am, that you have visions of Jesus?” asked the archbishop.

“Yes,” the woman replied simply.

“Well, then, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession.”

The woman was stunned. “Did I hear you right, bishop? You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past.”

“Exactly! Please call me if anything happens.”

Well, ten days later the woman notified him of a recent apparition: “Please come,” she said.

Within the hour the archbishop arrived. He wanted to have eye-to-eye contact. “You just told me on the phone that you actually had a vision of Jesus. Did you do what I asked?”

“Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession.”

The bishop leaned forward with anticipation. “What did Jesus say?”

She gazed intently into his eyes. “Bishop,” she said, “These are his exact words: ‘I CAN’T REMEMBER.’”

Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel , p.14