When Father Constantine came back from his mission, he was insane. I can't speak for his state of mind before he left for Africa or the Amazon or Detroit or wherever he went to perform his mission work but when he walked in to speak to our seventh grade class, he was insane. Crazy insane.
After a brief introduction from Sister Mary, we began a quick Q&A session.
Did you live with Natives? Yes.
Did you meet any cannibals? Yes.
Did you eat any people? Yes. I have tried human flesh.
Yuck! What does it taste like? It was dried like beef jerky. It was very salty.
Why did you...
Mrs. V. interrupted and announced that the Q&A period was over and the very busy Father was going to give us the afternoon lecture. Oh boy, this would be good, I thought. I glanced over at the other Mike P. in the class and he was licking his arm. I shuddered.
Father Constantine began his lecture.
"Children, I would like to teach you the Mathematics of Sin."
"When you sin, you must go to the confessional and ask the Lord to forgive you of those sins". Okay, I thought. I'm with you so far.
Father C. continued. "Let's suppose that you have 5 sins and you go to confession. You confess 4 of those sins and leave. How many sins do you have when you leave?"
Everyone raised their hands as this was a no brainer. Someone answered: "One!"
"NO! One is not the answer!" Wow. He means it. I think I know the answer. It's 2. 1 sin unconfessed + 1 sin for withholding the 1 sin = 2 sins. I call out the answer.
"NO! Two is not the answer!" Wow. I'll never speak up for the rest of my life. (Well, that's what I thought at the time). Someone else tried 5.
"NO! Five is not the answer!" Just so you know, the answer is neither 5 (the original number of sins) nor is it 6 (original number of sins + 1 for lying).
The answer is 7.
Father Constantine gave us the answer without an explanation because Mrs. V cut him short and made us thank him for his time. I still attempt to solve the equation now and then and I keep coming up with different answers but it's never seven.
Now I ask you: Did you just lick your arm?