Author Topic: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession  (Read 18581 times)

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Offline Cassiel

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Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« on: July 05, 2008, 12:07:50 AM »
I'm coming from a Catholic background and was just baptized Orthodox at Pascha.  I'm having issues.  In Catholicism it was easy - if you committed a "mortal" sin you had to confess it before receiving communion.  If it was venial, communion itself would clear it up.  In Orthodoxy there's no such distinction, right?  So my conscience, which is linked to a relatively obsessive-compulsive brain, is running wild.  I wind up confessing every week, because I sin all the time, and who do I think I am to judge which sins are serious and which aren't?  Is being very bad at doing the Wednesday and Friday fasts something one needs to confess?  Is judging something one needs to confess?  These are things that I struggle with all the time, but I do struggle.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  Thoughts?
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 12:14:44 AM »
^ Talk to a Spiritual Father, preferably one who does not officiate over your frequent Sacraments of Confession.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 12:39:46 AM »
Confessing every week is great. Just make sure you are using confession as a means to progress, not a spiritual "mouth wash."

Confession is more about diagnosing passions than listing every single sin we commit--because we commit so many, we could never list them all.

Before you confess, it's a good idea to pray to God to reveal any sins you need to confess. When you get there, talk about what is on your mind.

Some spiritual fathers want penitents to make lists of sins beforehand--St Nikodemos mentions this--but others don't, possibly because it can be a neurotic exercise. I'm not sure.

Ultimately discuss this with your spiritual father, who will most likely be your parish priest. If he thinks you are confessing too much/confessing in the wrong way, I am sure he will tell you.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 12:40:02 AM by Fr. Anastasios »
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Offline Ignatius of Antioch

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2008, 03:02:05 AM »
I'm coming from a Catholic background and was just baptized Orthodox at Pascha.  I'm having issues.  In Catholicism it was easy - if you committed a "mortal" sin you had to confess it before receiving communion.  If it was venial, communion itself would clear it up.  In Orthodoxy there's no such distinction, right?  So my conscience, which is linked to a relatively obsessive-compulsive brain, is running wild.  I wind up confessing every week, because I sin all the time, and who do I think I am to judge which sins are serious and which aren't?  Is being very bad at doing the Wednesday and Friday fasts something one needs to confess?  Is judging something one needs to confess?  These are things that I struggle with all the time, but I do struggle.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  Thoughts?

I would also agree to talk to your Spiritual Father. Some confess weekly, other do not. Orthodoxy does not demand that you do Confession weekly, although this is very good, due to the fact that you are going receive the Divine Eucharist on Sunday morning. But not all do this, which is fine. Ultimately, your priest will tell you how many times you should confess.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 03:02:55 AM by Ignatius of Antioch »
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 09:26:18 AM »
As one poster here once said, "It does not matter whether you drown in a bucket or in an ocean. You still drown."
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, nor mourning nor crying nor suffering, for the old order of things has passed away."

Offline ignatius

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 10:42:34 AM »
As one poster here once said, "It does not matter whether you drown in a bucket or in an ocean. You still drown."

By this quote are you saying that 'all' are doomed to drown?
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 11:06:13 PM »
By this quote are you saying that 'all' are doomed to drown?
Only those who don't see that they're drowning, don't repent of the sins that are drowning them, and don't reach out to Christ, who is reaching out His hand to save us all from drowning.
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Offline DanM

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 09:52:49 AM »
I'm coming from a Catholic background and was just baptized Orthodox at Pascha.  I'm having issues.  ...   I'm not sure what to make of it. 

As someone who hewed the same path, I recall very vividly the obsessive need to confess EVERYTHING. 
I did so until I became uncomfortable with it.  (You may recall young Luther's confessor telling him to stop coming to confession until he had murdered someone so that he would have something to confess.)  It's that way with a lot of things in Orthodoxy:  eventually the new perspectives cause new habits to appear in us and old ones to fall away.
We just need time to adjust.  Bear in mind that Orthodoxy is not a program or a routine:  the saints did many, many different things.
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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 02:30:32 PM »
As one poster here once said, "It does not matter whether you drown in a bucket or in an ocean. You still drown."

By this quote are you saying that 'all' are doomed to drown?
only those who don't come up for air, i.e. don't confess.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Mortal sins, venial sins, and Orthodox confession
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 02:50:10 PM »
As one poster here once said, "It does not matter whether you drown in a bucket or in an ocean. You still drown."

By this quote are you saying that 'all' are doomed to drown?
only those who don't come up for air, i.e. don't confess.
Only on Pascha is it appropriate to resurrect a dead thread like this. ;)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 02:50:27 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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