"I, Brian, a sinner, a most simple suburbian, a generally decent sort but subject to fits of unrelieved selfishness, do here wish to confess and be shriven, in such a manner that speaking of that which I have not done well will provoke me to do better; this slight daily improvement being exactly the work we are asked to do by the Shining One. So then: . . .
"I have taken seats on the bus reserved for the elderly and weary when I was neither; and I have sat mute on the bus while old women stood awkwardly, their heavy bags battering their thin shoulders; and I have stolen shampoo and notepads and pens from hotels and motels; and I have even stolen a Gideon Bible from a motel; and I have stolen vast ranks of teas from conferences and seminars; and I have stolen towels from pools and gyms; and I have stolen much else under the aegis of borrowing, knowing full well that I would never return nor attempt to return the contraband; and I have even in this way stolen obscure paperback books from the shelves of friends; another confession that makes me so uncomfortable that it must be true.
"Obsecro ut mihi ignoscas.
"There are many more things under heaven that I could here confess, but I am going to use the lovely excuse that time grows short and the end of the page draws near, so I beseech the reader to ascribe many more sins large and small to me, and leave them nameless except to Him who knows every feather of every sparrow, and assume my guilt and shame and apologia, and join me as we say, in a small voice but with a wild heart,
"Obsecro ut mihi ignoscas,
"And then amen."