Eugene now comes to the practical purpose of his sermon. He has instructed, and now it is time for action on the part of his listeners; they are invited to celebrate the sacrament of confession. I find particularly touching the welcoming and loving tone in which he speaks about the reception they will receive as they come to the confessional. It is an attitude he insisted on from all Oblates who heard confessions. He uses another of his everyday life examples to speak the language of his listeners, that of the cart stuck in mud.
There, my friends, there you have a feeble sketch of the precious fruits that you derive from your coming back to God. So are we not right, for your own advantage to place continually before your eyes your indispensable duty, and to do it even sometimes with a vehemence that zeal for your salvation as much as the freedom of our ministry fully justifies.
But my brothers our menacing tone is only for the pulpit, in the sacred tribunal our language is quite different, perhaps then we are all too indulgent. We are like those carters whose cart has got stuck in the mud, they set about pulling it out with all their strength; you see them shoving, now at the wheel, now at the shafts; when all these efforts are of no avail, they arm themselves with a whip, and with loud cries they strike out vigorously and in all directions until with a final heave the cart is righted. Then, leaving aside the whip, they take up the reins to curb the first steps from being too impetuous out of an excessive release of energy, they even go so far as to utter soothing words to these animals whose obstinacy had compelled them to be severe.
Instruction at the Madeleine, preached in Provencal, on the fourth Sunday of Lent