Author Topic: Relief in Confession?  (Read 2273 times)

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Offline dottykins

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Relief in Confession?
« on: September 16, 2012, 04:49:10 PM »
As someone who was raised Protestant, I was taught that confessing to God and confessing the sin to those I have sinned against is enough. I've spent quite a lot of time studying Orthodox confession, and love the idea of it being a healing sacrament. Despite having confessed my sins to both God and those I've sinned against, I often still feel very unforgiven and anxious about my sins and that it's not enough. I don't know if this is just me, or if other who were Protestant experienced this as well. I'm wondering if people really do find relief with the Orthodox way of confession. For those who were raised Protestant, did you feel different after your life confession?

Also, are there specific suggestions/prayers for putting my mind at ease? Satan uses my tendencies towards anxiety and perfectionism to really get me when it comes to past sins.

Thank you!

Offline TristanCross

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 04:55:00 PM »
I am not yet Orthodox, but I suggest praying the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner". We pray this over and over again so as to fulfill what St Paul tells us: "Pray unceasingly". It brings me peace when I am angry or distrought and helps us remain conscience of God during all things.
"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
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Offline celticfan1888

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 05:24:00 PM »
Yes, I do everytime
Forgive my sins.

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 05:30:04 AM »
As someone who was raised Protestant, I was taught that confessing to God and confessing the sin to those I have sinned against is enough. I've spent quite a lot of time studying Orthodox confession, and love the idea of it being a healing sacrament. Despite having confessed my sins to both God and those I've sinned against, I often still feel very unforgiven and anxious about my sins and that it's not enough. I don't know if this is just me, or if other who were Protestant experienced this as well. I'm wondering if people really do find relief with the Orthodox way of confession. For those who were raised Protestant, did you feel different after your life confession?

Also, are there specific suggestions/prayers for putting my mind at ease? Satan uses my tendencies towards anxiety and perfectionism to really get me when it comes to past sins.

Thank you!

I certainly did - I think it was the first time I ever really understood what it meant when people describe feeling as though a great weight had been lifted off your shoulders. Unfortunately, of course, you then start accumulating new things to confess and you also seem to notice them more (maybe it's just me, but the more often I confess the more sins I seem to notice) so at the next confession you feel the same way again for a while. Quite apart from the comforting/healing aspect, it seems to me that confession is vital in seeing, and combating, our continuing sins. I feel truly sorry for all those Protestants who are sincerely trying to conquer their sins without the benefit of the sacrament of confession.

James
We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

Offline elephant

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 08:01:54 AM »
Dear dottykins,

Holy Confession is a grace-filled Sacrament in the Orthodox Church.

St Athanasius says: "Just as a man is enlightened by the Holy Spirit when he is baptized by a priest, so he who confesses his sins with a repentant heart obtains remission from the priest."

It is a struggle (against sin, especially pride), a triumph over the enemy, a shield against future temptation, a healing ointment for wounds, and a visitation from the Comforter.  After confession, when old sins are remembered they begin to lose their power to wound again.  Over time the healing progresses. 

Love, elephant.




Offline soderquj

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 08:22:32 AM »
As a priest once told me confession is like an onion. You start with the large layer, and as you peel away that layer you expose the layer beneath. In confession we expose sins for healing, as we move closer to the light (Christ) we expose more and confess these. We continue until (hopefully) all are exposed and healed.

In our fallen nature this can take a lifetime.
O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me.

Offline dottykins

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 08:55:47 AM »
Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words! Although it doesn't sound easy, it seems like a truly lovely thing.

Offline soderquj

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2012, 10:15:52 AM »
Here is a good source for getting ready for confession. Remember it's about healing.

http://www.orthodox.net/confess/confession-catechism.html

http://www.orthodox.net/confess/confession.pdf
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 10:20:11 AM by soderquj »
O God, cleanse me a sinner and have mercy on me.

Offline Ergib

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Re: Relief in Confession?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 10:42:11 AM »
I was a young girl when I stopped practicing Orthodoxy. Because of that I went to hell and then found heaven through repentance, by the grace of God  :)

At 1st, the thought of confessing my sins to “another person” was so SCARY!! I couldn’t face my sins. After I finally made an appointment with my spiritual father, I began writing the sins I committed according to the 10 commandments and prayed so much for strength to tell all. I wept during confession…gave the list to father. Father talked & read me some verses regarding forgiveness. I felt better. But, for few days, I struggled with a question in my head that kept saying ‘did God really forgive me?’ I confessed again and told my spiritual father what I was feeling. He told me that it was the devil trying to make me feel sorry. He reminded me that Lord forgave me when I made up my mind to confess; before I confessed to father.

I now do my best not to sin. However, every time I confess, the peace I receive within is so amazing!

God is Great!!