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The Spiritual Means, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

26- Feelings of the Confessor

  

The confessor then must feel that he has sinned. He also must repent and have a contrite heart because of his sins.

David the Prophet, due to his great remorse, would cry bitterly over his sins and drench his couch with his tears (Ps 6:6). He felt that he needed to be cleansed from his sins, so he said to the Lord. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.. (Ps 51).

St-Takla.org Image: A man kneeling and praying in repentance (confession), black and white clipart. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رجل يركع ويصلي (الاعتراف)، كليبارت أبيض وأسود.

St-Takla.org Image: A man kneeling and praying in repentance (confession), black and white clipart.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رجل يركع ويصلي (الاعتراف)، كليبارت أبيض وأسود.

Many go to confession with no regret and no feeling of embarrassment, shame or disgrace because of their sins. Therefore they do not benefit from their confession. It becomes a mere talk, with no spirit!! As for you, as much as is your regret, so would be your repentance and your benefit from confession.

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With regret, there has to be a firm determination to change your condition.

Insistence on leaving the sinful past and shutting all passages leading to sin. Because confession does not mean closing an old account to open a new one but to cut all connection with sin, confessing that it is a sinful way that prevents life with God and the dwelling of His Spirit in the heart.

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The confessor must also be certain that he has sinned against God Himself..

Sin is disobedience to God and breaking His commandments, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. It is rebelling against God, preferring the love of the world, the material and the flesh to the love of God. And as St James the Apostle said: Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (Jas 4:4 ). And St John the Apostle said: If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 Jn 2:15). Then sin is against the love of God. It is at the same time a rejection of the fellowship with His Holy Spirit, because: What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? (2 Cor. 6:14).. And because sin is against God, then it is unlimited because God is unlimited..

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Therefore we find David the Prophet saying to the Lord: Against You, You only have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight (Ps 51 ). He did not say:

I sinned against Uriah and his wife Bathsheba... And also when sin was offered to the Righteous Joseph he refused it saying: How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Gen 39:9). Keep this then in your mind and you will know that you have sinned against God.

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Also confession is not just a relationship between you and the confession father. It is before anything else a relationship with God..

You confess to God through the priest, as it was said by Joshua, the son of Nun to Achan: My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done.. (Josh 7:19). In the absolution also, you take it from God through the mouth of the priest. So you feel the presence of God during confession and you benefit spiritually from your confession. Many forget the presence of God during confession and so the reverence and benefit of confession are lost.


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