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Author Topic: Re: Confession  (Read 16008 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #135 on: October 02, 2007, 07:21:10 AM »

Okay maybe I am wrong being new to the OC and all but, if I were to go out tonight and think that my next door neighbor is a jerk and maybe say something impolite under my breath that is wrong right? But if I were to go out tonight and murder my neighbor that would be worse. If these are both viewed in the sin is sin way then does the Orthodox Church teach that both are as serious as the other.
Theosis is not some strange, alien phenomenon which must be introduced into our lives. Theosis is the  natural state for which we were created, and it is the goal and aim of human existence. Whenever we act in a way which prevents us attaining this "goal" of Theosis, then we "miss the mark", which in Greek is "harmatia", i.e. "sin".
No one enters the Kingdom of Heaven without attaining Theosis, and any sin, no matter how "small" or "less serious" prevents us from attaining Theosis.
Picture again the set of scales I posted in this thread:
  ___________________
   /\           []          /\
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
\______/     []      \______/
                 []
                 []
                 []
     =================
On the one side of the scales, let's place the so-called "less serious" sin. Let it be the "smallest" sin you can imagine. On the other side of the scales, lets put all the good works and merits of the Saints- the blood of the Martyrs, the sufferings of the Confessors, the teaching of the Apostles, the fasts, vigils and mortification of the monastics, and for good measure, lets add the Theotokos herself! According to Orthodoxy, not even all these will be able to outweigh and lift the "smallest sin" on the other side of the scales. If all these cannot outweigh the smallest sin, what makes you think that a sin being "less serious" means anything about it's magnitude?
Only one thing can tip the scales in favour of Theosis and outweigh the sin, and that is, the mercy of God.
Listen to the prayers of the Church. In the original Koine of the Divine Liturgy, before the Lords prayer and before Communion, we pray "καταξιωσον ημας", which does not mean "make us worthy", but rather, "deem us worthy", in other words, "count us as though we were worthy even though we are not."
In Orthodoxy, sins are spiritual illness requiring treatment. Untreated, all and any of these spiritual illnesses will lead to spiritual death. The only sense in which Orthodoxy understands sins to be "less serious" is in the sense that they are illnesses which are easier to treat. But left untreated, they will lead to spiritual death as certainly as the "most serious" sin will.

does the Orthodox Church teach that both are as serious as the other
If you don't believe me, then there's one way to find out. Go out and do precisely what you described tonight. Harbour anger and hatred for your neighbour and call him a jerk under your breath, and adamantly refuse to repent of it, even on your deathbed, and lets see what happens on Judgement Day. Wink
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 08:46:07 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: October 02, 2007, 09:09:02 AM »

You see, Antony, that's in contrast to we Catholics who don't require repentance for all sins!  We don't care about the "little" ones. Smiley
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« Reply #137 on: October 02, 2007, 09:29:25 AM »

You see, Antony, that's in contrast to we Catholics who don't require repentance for all sins!  We don't care about the "little" ones. Smiley
Again with the Catholics.... Roll Eyes
Who cares what you believe? (which, by the way, is that the sin would be outweighed by the "Treasury of the Church" which according to your mob includes "the truly immense, unfathomable and ever pristine value before God of the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, who following in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by His grace have sanctified their lives and fulfilled the mission entrusted to them by the Father. Thus while attaining their own salvation, they have also cooperated in the salvation of their brothers in the unity of the Mystical Body." (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1967) So you see, we are different. You guys think the "merits" of the Saints "co-operate" to save and form part of the "Treasury of the Church" which can be applied in the form of "Indulgences" for the remission of temporal punishment.- we don't. The only thing we place in the other side of the scale is God's mercy in Christ. Smiley So now, why not be a good little poster and do as the moderators have asked you to and post in the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion Forum rather than turn every thread into a theological argument about doctrinal differences between RC's and Orthodox, or your inane claims that they don't exist? And if you can't do that, then I really have to wonder what you are doing here apart from trolling.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 09:31:06 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #138 on: October 02, 2007, 09:55:21 AM »

I have temporarily locked this topic, and here's why: It's because I have no desire to see lubeltri or anyone go onto moderated posts.
There have been several reminders by the moderator of this forum that this is the "Orthodox Faith Issues Forum", that is, it deals with questions regarding Orthodox Faith Issues.
We have another forum on this board called "Orthodox-Catholic Discussion" which is a forum for "Discussion of issues which unite and divide the Orthodox Church and the Roman/Eastern Catholic churches (in Communion with Rome)."
We moderators understand that people want to discuss, debate and explore the issues which unite and divide Orthodox and others, which is precisely why we made different fora to accomodate this. All we are asking is that you use the proper fora for the correct use. Is that so difficult to understand?
Now, if anyone wishes to discuss this issue in terms of "Catholic vs. Orthodox" doctrine, you are free to start a thread in  "Orthodox-Catholic Discussion". But If the Faith Issues forum is used for this purpose once more, the party involved will be placed on moderated posts, since I have now given you all a public warning about this.
I will re-open this thread in a little while after this post.
George

Edit: Thread re-opened.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 12:12:53 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #139 on: October 02, 2007, 12:20:10 PM »

At my parish we do the "Schmemann" service. It takes place the first Sunday of each month. We read together prayers, including the trisagion and psalm 50/51 and some prayers of confession. The priest gives a short meditation on repentance/forgiveness/prayer. We take a few moments to recollect our sins, then get in line and go forward for general confession and absolution.

We also have regular, private confession and forgiveness vespers.

I like having all three.

I would like this to be read universally before each penitent confesses: http://www.orthodox.net/confess/brief-confession-before-a-spiritual-father.html

Also, I'd like it if we had the list of passions as a general resource, broken down into a cycle of reflections: http://www.orthodox.net/confess/a-list-of-the-passions.html
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« Reply #140 on: October 02, 2007, 04:33:44 PM »

Thank you Authiodionitist. For letting us know how dead we really are.  Cheesy
Seriously though. I can't believe that a lack of faith is a passion.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2007, 04:36:25 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

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« Reply #141 on: October 02, 2007, 06:21:40 PM »

Depends on your definition of the word passion. 

I could see how it could plague someone...to be faithless...

We are called to be steadfast in the faith, so to not be so would make sense to be a sin...breaking the commandments is a sin, and being steadfast in faith is a commandment (a command...) so it stands to reason that it could be a passion, if passion is defined as a sin.  see my first point... Wink
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« Reply #142 on: October 02, 2007, 07:17:39 PM »

But again Demetrios G. the church does not choose to explicitly state what is a sin and what is not  it is a matter of subjectivity according to the circumstances one finds themselves in (could someone pull me up on this if it sounds to controversial).
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« Reply #143 on: October 02, 2007, 10:07:35 PM »

I think it can be argued both ways. 

I think in general consensus the Orthodox theology does not teach that one sin is over the other, etc. 

However, there are fathers, both heretical and non, who have differenciated between mortal and non-mortal sins.  So...you do the math.   Wink
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« Reply #144 on: October 03, 2007, 02:16:42 PM »

Passions are the things we struggle with, sins are where we actually succumb and fall.  So in that sense, we're not all that dead....
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« Reply #145 on: October 03, 2007, 06:13:27 PM »

Out of curiosity, where did you get those definitions?  If you have any references i'd be interested.  Thanks! 
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« Reply #146 on: October 03, 2007, 11:41:11 PM »

Out of curiosity, where did you get those definitions?  If you have any references i'd be interested.  Thanks! 
Those were some lengthy definitions!
But I like the idea of having people actually have to contemplate these things during general confession and also before private confession
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« Reply #147 on: October 04, 2007, 01:10:13 AM »

Theosis is not some strange, alien phenomenon which must be introduced into our lives. Theosis is the  natural state for which we were created, and it is the goal and aim of human existence. Whenever we act in a way which prevents us attaining this "goal" of Theosis, then we "miss the mark", which in Greek is "harmatia", i.e. "sin".
No one enters the Kingdom of Heaven without attaining Theosis, and any sin, no matter how "small" or "less serious" prevents us from attaining Theosis.
Picture again the set of scales I posted in this thread:
  ___________________
   /\           []          /\
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
  |  |          []         |  |
\______/     []      \______/
                 []
                 []
                 []
     =================
On the one side of the scales, let's place the so-called "less serious" sin. Let it be the "smallest" sin you can imagine. On the other side of the scales, lets put all the good works and merits of the Saints- the blood of the Martyrs, the sufferings of the Confessors, the teaching of the Apostles, the fasts, vigils and mortification of the monastics, and for good measure, lets add the Theotokos herself! According to Orthodoxy, not even all these will be able to outweigh and lift the "smallest sin" on the other side of the scales. If all these cannot outweigh the smallest sin, what makes you think that a sin being "less serious" means anything about it's magnitude?
Only one thing can tip the scales in favour of Theosis and outweigh the sin, and that is, the mercy of God.
Listen to the prayers of the Church. In the original Koine of the Divine Liturgy, before the Lords prayer and before Communion, we pray "καταξιωσον ημας", which does not mean "make us worthy", but rather, "deem us worthy", in other words, "count us as though we were worthy even though we are not."
In Orthodoxy, sins are spiritual illness requiring treatment. Untreated, all and any of these spiritual illnesses will lead to spiritual death. The only sense in which Orthodoxy understands sins to be "less serious" is in the sense that they are illnesses which are easier to treat. But left untreated, they will lead to spiritual death as certainly as the "most serious" sin will.
If you don't believe me, then there's one way to find out. Go out and do precisely what you described tonight. Harbour anger and hatred for your neighbour and call him a jerk under your breath, and adamantly refuse to repent of it, even on your deathbed, and lets see what happens on Judgement Day. Wink
That was a good way of explaining it. You should put that in a book seriously. For some reason the scales and the Sts on one side helped clear it up.
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« Reply #148 on: October 04, 2007, 01:16:41 AM »

Hi Anthony,

I am a former Roman Catholic, now Orthodox for only three short years.  For my peace and comfort, I confess every 4 weeks.  I struggle with severe depression and anxiety.  Regular participation in the sacraments (Confession, the Holy Mysteries, anointing with oil on Feast Days etc.) are integral to my emotional stability. 

I love confession...absolutely love it.  I cannot even begin to describe how I feel before and after.  There is a burden that gets weightier and weightier as each week passes, sometimes so much so that I speak with my spiritual father more frequently.  But when I confess, that burden is lifted and it is left where I sat (or knelt).

My spiritual father and I prefer to confess "monastic style" as he calls it.  We sit facing one another.  It is more like a conversation than presenting a list of things that are my "sins."  Though I do jot down a list of things that I want to confess.  Then I burn it when done.  Usually he hones in on one thing that I say, or perhaps a couple and we "talk" about it.  Actually, he talks...I listen very, very carefully, especially to what he says right at the beginning.

There are no "penance" prayers (at least in my meager experience) like I was given in Roman Catholicism. 

It has been all very gently, patient, loving, and comfortable.  I suspect you would find it to be so as well.

faithfully, athanasia

Sorry to hear about the depression and anxiety, I have realy bad panic attacks sometimes when I drive. Its a real drag.
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« Reply #149 on: October 04, 2007, 10:05:42 AM »

Passions are the things we struggle with, sins are where we actually succumb and fall.  So in that sense, we're not all that dead....

Agreed. I also understand Georges point as well. That all sin can lead to spiritual death. Weather one actually kills a person or treats a person as if they want them dead. The sin is still the same. The person you sinned against may not forgive you. Dead or alive. They may have fallen into sin themselves. But we know Christ will forgive us. 

        If we reconcile with whom we harbor our anger towards we know and feel that all is well. In a way we feel that all is well because we didn't have to involve God in it. In this case all my be well.

  What happens when that person doesn't forgive you? That person may never except you back. Praise God if they do.
 We know Christ will except us back.

  If that person never forgives you than how will you feel forgiven? Christ forgives you.  It's up to him/her who was sinned against to now make the decision of where they stand.
 We also must understand that when we sin against someone. That sin is contagious. It affects both, because the sinned against has to respond back in some way. If that person is righteous he/she will respond back with love. If they aren't than they themselves will fall into sin by their response to the sin against them.  Their response can lead them to spiritual death as well. It's a vicious cycle.

A question now comes up. If that person forgives you have you still sinned? I believe no. Sin has no power in Love.
That is what I believe St. John rights in that verse I posted.

It is important to know that our response toward sin also determines who we are.
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« Reply #150 on: October 07, 2007, 12:22:59 AM »



A question now comes up. If that person forgives you have you still sinned? I believe no. Sin has no power in Love.
That is what I believe St. John rights in that verse I posted.



That is a great thought. I don't know if it is theologically accurate. But existentially, if we could view it that we are making it as if the other person had not sinned when we forgive their sins against us - that is very powerful.

thanks for that insight
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« Reply #151 on: October 07, 2007, 05:59:10 PM »

That is a great thought. I don't know if it is theologically accurate. But existentially, if we could view it that we are making it as if the other person had not sinned when we forgive their sins against us - that is very powerful.

thanks for that insight

Isn't this exactlly what Christ does for us. This is what Theosis is. Becoming the image of Christ.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #152 on: October 08, 2007, 03:16:16 PM »

When you forgive the sin is gone.  that doesn't mean it never happened.  Does that distinction make sense to you? 

Forgiveness is the letting go of the sin.  Not the "undoing" of the sin.  the sin was still committed, it was just forgiven, so then you move FORWARD.  this is the ultimate action of forgivenes..to move us towards the Eschaton.  If you can't forgive you arn't moving forward.  But that doesn't mean you did nothing...you still need repentance. 
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