His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was meeting with the priests of North America in Boston in September 8, 1998. One of the priests asked him about his opinion about a priest who, because of curiosity, presses people who make confession to tell him their secrets and those of the ministry and Sunday school in his church. He behaves like a prosecutor, not realizing that being curious is a sin that he has to confess.
In answer His Holiness related the following true story:
There was a very simple monk who departed from this world. Once, he was praying for a person possessed by an evil spirit that was behaving as if it was powerless. The monk began to ask the spirit a lot of questions. For example, “How do you enter a person’s body? Why do you do it? What is your power over humans?”
The spirit answered the questions then suddenly asked the monk, “Why do you use prayer to find out our secrets? I’m not answering you again.”
The simple monk realized that he turned away from caring for the salvation of others and the spirit of service and prayers. Instead, he became curious even about the world of evil spirits. He has deviated from his duty and also realized that Satan might be deceiving in his answers.
Instantly, he turned away from his wrong behavior and repented to God for his deviation.
Help me God not to be curious about others.
What good is it to know all the secrets of others,
And not to know my own deep secrets?
Attract me to the secrets of Your love,
To see the open heavens with my heart,
So I do not desire to interfere in the life of others.
A Dialogue between Two Fetuses
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