Author Topic: what about confession during conversion period  (Read 10240 times)

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Offline liefern

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what about confession during conversion period
« on: July 31, 2014, 05:36:27 AM »
As a traditional Roman Catholic (attending SSPX chapels), I am accustomed to having frequent recourse to confession. If the process of entering the Orthodox fold takes, say, a year, which is probably about average(?), what do I do about confession in the meantime? I can't have recourse to the sacraments until after Chrismation, and I can't exactly go to my chapels if I am thinking of leaving--not sure who that would offend more! So anyway what about penance during the transition period?

Offline Thomas

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 07:15:22 AM »
Discuss this with the Orthodox Priest who is catichizing you he will establish your catechumenate plan with you and will answer all of your questions, until you are in the process of conversion it is a mute point. :D
Your brother in Christ ,
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Offline liefern

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 07:34:32 AM »
I guess that's a good point, I was just hoping for a heads-up.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 02:21:52 PM »
So anyway what about penance during the transition period?

As Thomas said, speak with your priest.  I wouldn't go back to what you are planning to make your former religion to make use of its pastoral services.  I don't see anything preventing you, however, from speaking to your Orthodox priest about your sins, your spiritual struggle, etc., asking for prayers and seeking advice.  There will be no sacramental absolution, obviously, until you're Orthodox, but that's all. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline Maria

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 02:26:14 PM »
It is God who forgives.

That said, if you confess your sin to the Orthodox Priest, even though you cannot receive absolution, if you are sorry and repentant, God will forgive you.

Even if you were to be abandoned on an island away from everyone, God will not abandon you.

Have you read the life of St. Mary of Egypt? She went into the desert to repent of her sins of prostitution, so she was alone in the desert for over 30 years. Our Lord did not abandon her as she neared death, but sent one of his saints to give her Holy Communion. In fact, she died the day she received Holy Communion. It is said that she died of joy.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Online Agabus

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 02:28:27 PM »
Keep a journal of your sins during the catechumenate and read it to the priest during your first confession.  


;)

Or you can do as Maria advises and trust God's mercy while you are a state in which you can't make a confession.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 02:28:46 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 03:18:44 PM »
Keep a journal of your sins during the catechumenate and read it to the priest during your first confession.  


;)

Or you can do as Maria advises and trust God's mercy while you are a state in which you can't make a confession.

I would add that confession per se and repentance is also very possible (and expected), in addition to the Holy Mystery of Penance. At the very least, you could say the following prayers regularly, perhaps in the evening as you go to bed:

A PRAYER OF REPENTANCE
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended thee, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray thee, O Lord: of thy mercy forgive me all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

SAINT EPHRAIM’S PRAYER
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.

THE JESUS PRAYER
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 03:19:36 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline liefern

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 03:23:29 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

Offline Maria

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 03:30:24 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

This is why it is imperative to pray daily, and to attend Holy Services as often as possible.
Praying the regular prayers of the day, reading the daily scriptures as prescribed in the Church Calendar, and reading the lives of the saints really helped my family. The Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos, Paraclesis, is particularly helpful. We pray that canon every night, and our Lady the Theotokos is quick to hear.
The memory of God should be treasured in our hearts like the precious pearl mentioned in the Holy Gospel. Our life's goal should be to nurture and contemplate God always within, and never let it depart, for this steadfastness will drive demons away from us. - Paraphrased from St. Philotheus of Sinai
Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart,
Translated from the Russian by E. Kadloubovksy and G.E.H. Palmer, Faber and Faber, London, Boston, 1992 printing.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 03:47:00 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 03:48:24 PM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 04:06:41 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

The one-year guideline is general; truthfully, it depends on the priest's predispositions and the catechumen.

But think of it this way — as a Catholic, you've heard of baptism by desire, right? The same can apply to confession. God knows you desire the Mystery and would receive it if you could.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline liefern

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 04:34:48 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 10:34:48 AM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

And, if your priest feels that you are, he is likely to make it longer.

Offline Thomas

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 10:48:49 AM »
Keep a journal of your sins during the catechumenate and read it to the priest during your first confession.  


;)

Or you can do as Maria advises and trust God's mercy while you are a state in which you can't make a confession.

Another thing often overlooked is that a catechumen who dies before baptism and chrismation is still buried as an Orthodox Christian and is viewed as an innocent babe is if they die before baptism. Do not worry God loves and God forgives, especially those who have spit upon the devil and become a formal catechumen. There is time enough for the first confession when the priest is ready to baptize you and/or  chrismate you

Thomas
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline jah777

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 10:53:45 AM »
I think the point has already been made, but you should be able to confess your sins and receive guidance, just not the prayer of absolution.

Offline liefern

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 11:30:55 AM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

And, if your priest feels that you are, he is likely to make it longer.

I don't think you should have told me that. If I am trying for shortcuts, I deserve to be found out by the priest; your advice counsels me in effect to hide my over-eagerness. If I'm not trying for shortcuts, you are selling me short by warning me.

The main reason I am interested in Orthodoxy is because it seems like what I have been trying to find in Catholicism: a life of prayer leading to theosis (in Catholicism we say there is first the purgative way, then the illuminative, then finally the unitive way -- http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14254a.htm ). You may ask me why I should leave Catholicism, if they already have what I am eager to find; I guess my reading suggests to me that the Orthodox side is more about theosis, and Catholicism has got a bit distracted with various visions and of course the mad pope, who in the 1960s couldn't restrain himself (perhaps because he was a mason or something) from trashing the liturgy. You shouldn't mess with the liturgy. People depend on it.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 11:56:35 AM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

And, if your priest feels that you are, he is likely to make it longer.

I don't think you should have told me that. If I am trying for shortcuts, I deserve to be found out by the priest; your advice counsels me in effect to hide my over-eagerness. If I'm not trying for shortcuts, you are selling me short by warning me.

Not at all. Orthodoxy is not a sprint, but a marathon. You will be chrismated when you and your priest feel that you are ready for the challenges of living an Orthodox life. Some people are enthusiastic in the beginning but are not prepared when that enthusiasm wanes. During your catechumenate, the priest wants to be fairly sure that you're converting for the "right" reasons and that you are in it for the long haul.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 12:49:09 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

And, if your priest feels that you are, he is likely to make it longer.

I don't think you should have told me that. If I am trying for shortcuts, I deserve to be found out by the priest; your advice counsels me in effect to hide my over-eagerness. If I'm not trying for shortcuts, you are selling me short by warning me.

Not at all. Orthodoxy is not a sprint, but a marathon.
You will be chrismated when you and your priest feel that you are ready for the challenges of living an Orthodox life. Some people are enthusiastic in the beginning but are not prepared when that enthusiasm wanes. During your catechumenate, the priest wants to be fairly sure that you're converting for the "right" reasons and that you are in it for the long haul.
Occasionally, the marathon is a face-first crawl through the mud, desperately grasping toward Heaven. It doesn't hurt to learn to more deeply trust God for your salvation now while you're on the front end of things.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2014, 01:57:20 PM »
I think the point has already been made, but you should be able to confess your sins and receive guidance, just not the prayer of absolution.

You're smart.  ;)
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2014, 03:15:06 PM »
Okay, so, you're saying that as I make the leap from traditional Catholic to Orthodox, I have to traverse a year without the real sacrament of Penance, but that if I handle that correctly there is no danger to my soul.

It may be much shorter than a year if you are a quick learner, an earnest catechumen, and employ most persuasive reasons with your priest on why your catechumenate should be shorter.  ;)

Seriously, if you look at our spiritual journeys, they usually are long distance and not sprints.

An excellent point. I wasn't angling for a quick run.  :)

And, if your priest feels that you are, he is likely to make it longer.

I don't think you should have told me that. If I am trying for shortcuts, I deserve to be found out by the priest; your advice counsels me in effect to hide my over-eagerness. If I'm not trying for shortcuts, you are selling me short by warning me.

The main reason I am interested in Orthodoxy is because it seems like what I have been trying to find in Catholicism: a life of prayer leading to theosis (in Catholicism we say there is first the purgative way, then the illuminative, then finally the unitive way -- http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14254a.htm ). You may ask me why I should leave Catholicism, if they already have what I am eager to find; I guess my reading suggests to me that the Orthodox side is more about theosis, and Catholicism has got a bit distracted with various visions and of course the mad pope, who in the 1960s couldn't restrain himself (perhaps because he was a mason or something) from trashing the liturgy. You shouldn't mess with the liturgy. People depend on it.

I am sorry for not being clearer. I would not dream of counseling you to cover up anything, especially when it comes to your spiritual quest and your priest. What I suggested (poorly it turns out) is for you to curb your eagerness, rather than cover it up. In other words, if you do not believe that you are in this for the long run and that you would stick it out no matter how long (and internalize it), the priest is bound to figure out that you are in a hurry and may (please note the tense) test you to see if this is a passing fancy or not.

Offline Anna.T

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2014, 10:51:52 PM »

Occasionally, the marathon is a face-first crawl through the mud, desperately grasping toward Heaven. It doesn't hurt to learn to more deeply trust God for your salvation now while you're on the front end of things.

I don't know why exactly (well, maybe I do), but this resonates with me on SO MANY levels. It strikes me as very wise.

Aγιος ὁ Θεός, Ἅγιος ἰσχυρός, Ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

Let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God

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

Offline Sam G

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2014, 11:00:38 PM »
If you're serious about converting, I'd probably be best if you were to stop receiving Catholic sacraments at some point.

That being said, here is a prayer that you can use during your time as a catechumen:

"Absolve, remit, forgive, O God, my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word a deed, known and unknown, in mind and thought, by day and by night; forgive me all, for Thou art good and lovest mankind."

Trust that the Lord will have mercy on you.
"Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes vanity of vanities, and all is vanity."

Offline Bernardoastur7

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Re: what about confession during conversion period
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2014, 02:48:38 PM »
Well, I had exactly the same doubt some months ago!  I asked our Auxiliar Bishop Pancratios (before he was sent to Honduras) and he told me to keep talking to him after the Divine Liturgy even though he could not give me the absolution, but in case a grave sin was committed I could go and confess to a RC Priest, for the sake of Eikonomia (sp?) if none of the Orthodox were present, considering the fact that our Greek Orthodox Cathedral is very small and both Priests work full time.  In any event, he told me, you have to be very careful on not falling into a relativism way of thinking... let's say his recommendation was for emergency situations only.

It has been difficult, because from the Opus Dei tradition I had, I used to confess every Sunday (even if I did not remember any "mortal" sin) but Im working on it!

B