1- You should consider the time, responsibilities and health of your confession father. You should also consider the rest of those who are waiting for their turn to confess after you. So do not expand more than is necessary and do not waste time in introductions and details that are not needed, or in trying to remember what you want to say: Be prepared for your confession beforehand, with full concentration during your confession.
2- You should know that your spiritual benefit will be as much as you are open and honest during confession.
3- You must keep the secrecy of the directions given to you by your confession father, as he keeps in secret whatever you say about your sins. Your confession may concern a certain person who is causing you to stumble; your confession father therefore may advise you to keep away from that person. This does not mean you then go out and say to others: “My confession father ordered me to keep away from this person.” In so doing, you may cause embarrassment to your spiritual father.
4- Do not request from your confession father to agree on certain decisions you have already made, and thereby waste time in arguments, crying and pain if he does not agree with you. The right way is to consult him and ask for his advice but not to present to him your decisions without firstly discussing the matter. At the same time do not try to hide from him what you see as being unsuitable for you.
5- Do not ask your confession father about matters that are not right for you to know, or are not your place to know, such as issues relating to church policy and news.
6- You must have confidence in your confession father. Do not make it necessary every time he gives you advice, to have it supported by evidence so that he may convince you. This would be a waste of effort and time.
7- If you have a doubting thought concerning your confession father, do not mention it in an offensive manner, but in polite frankness.
8- Do not treat your confession father as an equal and do not harshly reproach him. Remember always that when you confess to him, you are standing before the Lord’s delegate.
9- Do not be jealous from the way your confession father may treat others who have a special case, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. And do not try to pressure him to know what this case is, because by doing so you are interfering in the secrecy of their confessions.
10- Do not frequently visit your confession father to consult with him matters of triviality, lest others wonder why the priest meets with you more than them, and this may cause the priest embarrassment.
11- You have to be obedient. And let it be wise obedience.
12- If your confession father rebukes you for a sin, do not be annoyed, because he does it for your own benefit. And do not try to justify yourself in whatever you are confessing.
13- If you ask something from your confession father and he remains silent, do not take this silence as a sign of agreement. It could be that what you are asking for causes embarrassment or uncovers some people's secrets or that the answer would cause you more harm than good. Or maybe he has already answered the same thing before. Or perhaps he is silent because the question is inappropriate.
14- In your confession do not say half the story, but the whole story.
15- Do not use confession time as an opportunity to complain about others or to talk about their mistakes. Concentrate on your own mistakes.
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