Monday, May 31, 2010

Repentance as a Sacrament

In the Mystery of Repentance we, first, carefully prepare ourselves. We go to the priest to rid ourselves of the garbage we have accumulated to free our souls of the burden our sinfulness places on us. The priest is our witness as we make our confession to God. We do so with upmost sincerity and with contrition. Standing in the presence of another person is humbling. This act is essential to embrace the most accentuated feeling of humility.  In it we realize that our deliverance from sin also depends on the support and help we get from others.  We transcend our ego and individualistic nature in this act.  By admitting our weakness and failings before another person in the priest, we place ourselves in a humble position seeking help and instruction.  We make ourselves open to receive objective external guidance for our sinful nature.


This act is essential for our spiritual growth and was given to us by God in His Church for our benefit.


Saint Mark the Ascetic says,
Nobody is as gracious and merciful as the Lord is, but even He does not forgive the sins of the man who does not repent;... we are being condemned not because of the multitude of our evils, but because we do not want to repent.
Confession before a priest not only results an total absolution and a cleansing of your record in God's eyes, but it humbles us, cures our pride, and instills in us shame and fear, protecting us from future sins.  We also receive advice from an object view point.  We are given instruction to aid us in our spiritual growth.  We are taught how to struggle with our passions, how to fight them so others are no longer aware of them.  But, if you do not what to be healed by this Sacrament then you will both expose yourself to ongoing abuse in your daily life and be disgraced before the entire universe at the Final Judgment.


Abbas Isaiah advises us:
The tryly repentant man receives forgiveness of his sins, is conciled with God, the Church, and his own conscience, and thus regains the precious filial striving towards God as Father, and benefits for all the gifts of His fatherly love and kindness.
The sacrament is too often a forgotten sacrament, but one of the most powerful.  It brings joy, freedom of the soul, and a lifting of our burdens.


Ref: Orthodox Spirituality, p 145 - 146.

1 comment:

  1. Xristos anesti ...

    Bless father ...

    Thank-u for very helpful pointers on how to repent ... how to prepare for confession ...

    Maria aegyptica

    ReplyDelete