I’ve been searching for information about St Augustine and confession. In the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry on confession, I found this quote ascribed to St Augustine:
St. Augustine (d. 450) tells the sinner: “an abscess had formed in your conscience; it tormented you and gave you no rest. . . . confess, and in confession let the pus come out and flow away” (Enarration on Psalm 66, no. 6).
As far as I can tell, the ‘Enarration’ on the psalms is translated the ‘Exposition’ of the Psalms.
When I click the New Advent page’s link to ‘Enarration on Psalm 66, no. 6’, this paragraph comes up:
- Observe also the very lie of the false witnesses in the Gospel, and see how it is about Resurrection. For when to the Lord had been said, What sign will You, who does these things, show us? John 2:18 besides that which He had spoken about Jonah Matthew 12:39 through another similitude of this same thing also He spoke, that you might know this peculiar sign had been especially pointed out: Destroy this Temple, He says, and in three days I will raise it up. And they said, In forty and six years was built this temple, and will You in three days raise it up? John 2:19-20 And the evangelist explaining what it was, But this, he says, spoke Jesus of the Temple of His Body. John 2:21 Behold this His power He said He would show to men in the same thing as that from whence He had given the similitude of a Temple, because of His flesh, which was the Temple of the Divinity hidden within. Whence the Jews outwardly saw the Temple, the Deity dwelling within they saw not. Out of those words of the Lord false witnesses made up a lie to say against Him, out of those very words wherein He mentioned His future Resurrection, in speaking of the Temple. For false witnesses, when they were asked what they had heard Him say, alleged against Him: We heard Him saying, I will destroy this Temple, and after three days I will raise it up. After three days I will raise up, they had heard: I will destroy, they had not heard: but had heard destroy ye. One word they changed and a few letters, in order to support their false testimony. But for whom do you change a word, O human vanity, O human weakness? For the Word, the Unchangeable, do you change a word? You change your word, do you change God’s Word?..Wherefore said they that You had said, I will destroy; and said not that which You said, destroy ye? It was, as it were, in order that they might defend themselves from the charge of destroying the Temple without cause. For Christ, because He willed it, died: and nevertheless ye killed Him. Behold we grant you, O you liars, Himself destroyed the Temple. For it has been said by the Apostle, That loved me, and gave up Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 It has been said of the Father, That His own Son spared not, but gave Him up for us all. Romans 8:32 …By all means be it that Himself destroyed the Temple, Himself destroyed that said, Power I have to lay down My Soul, and power I have again to take it: no one takes it from Me, but I Myself lay it down from Me, and again I take it. John 10:18 Be it that Himself has destroyed the Temple in His Grace, in your malice. In the multitude of Your power your enemies shall lie to You. Behold they lie, behold they are believed, behold You are oppressed, behold You are crucified, behold You are insulted, behold head is wagged at You, If Son of God He is, let Him come down from the Cross. Matthew 27:49 Behold when You will, life You lay down, and with lance in the side art pierced, and Sacraments from Your side flow forth; John 19:34 You are taken down from the Tree, wound in linens, laid in the sepulchre, there are set guards lest Your disciples take You away; there comes the hour of Your Resurrection, earth is shaken, tombs are cloven, Thou risest again in secret, appearest openly. Where then are those liars? Where is the false testimony of evil will? Have not Your enemies in the multitude of Your power lied to You?
The paragraph does not include the quote about confession, torment, pus and abscesses.
I’ve searched for the quote online, and every place I find it seems to have taken it from the New Advent site on confession.
I can’t find the line anywhere online in any other context.
Can anyone help me find the true origin of that line? I realize that Augustine’s works have been translated in different words, so ‘abscess’ might be ‘sore’ or ‘wound’ and ‘tormented’ might be ‘troubled.’ But I’ve searched diligently for paraphrases of the line (using ‘St Augustine’ to link to the other search words) to no avail.
Is New Advent simply wrong? Or is this quote from something other than the ‘Expositions’ on the Psalms that New Advent links to?