Chapter 44: - Page 3 of 6

An Examination of Conscience

(English version of “Noli Me Tangere”)

Don’t you worry, answered the padre without looking at him. I know what I’m doing; I’ve helped take care of plenty of sick people before. Besides, she’ll decide herself whether or not she wishes to receive the holy communion and you’ll see that she says yes.

Capitan Tiago immediately agreed to everything, while Aunt Isabel returned to the sick girl’s chamber. Maria Clara was still in bed, pale, very pale, and at her side were her two friends.

Take one more grain, Sinang whispered, as she offered her a white tablet that she took from a small glass tube. He says that when you feel a rumbling or buzzing in your ears you are to stop the medicine.

Hasn’t he written to you again? asked the sick girl in a low voice.

No, he must be very busy.

Hasn’t he sent any message?

He says nothing more than that he’s going to try to get the Archbishop to absolve him from the excommunication, so that—

This conversation was suspended at the aunt’s approach. The padre says for you to get ready for confession, daughter, said the latter. You girls must leave her so that she can make her examination of conscience.

But it hasn’t been a week since she confessed! protested SinangI’m not sick and I don’t sin as often as that.

Abá! Don’t you know what the curate says: the righteous sin seven times a day? Come, what book shall I bring you, the Ancora, the Ramillete, or the Camino Recto para ir al Cielo?

Maria Clara did not answer.

Well, you mustn’t tire yourself, added the good aunt to console her. I’ll read the examination myself and you’ll have only to recall your sins.

Write to him not to think of me any more, murmured Maria Clara in Sinang’s ear as the latter said good-by to her.

Learn this Filipino word:

kumindát sa dilim