Freitag, 11. April 2014

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Some Advice from Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh about Confession

In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
I was asked to give a certain number of sermons on Confession; because many come to Confession and repeat only things which they have read in manuals of devotion or which other people have told them about. And I would like to start where I start with a child and attract your attention to the fact that our situation is the same.
When a child comes to Confession, usually he brings either on paper or by memory a long list, or a short list, of sins. And when he has finished, I always say, ‘Are these things which break your heart? Are these things which you feel are wrong in you? Did you invent for yourself this confession?’ And most of the time the answer is, ‘No, my mother gave me this list because that makes her cross!’ After that I usually have a conversation with the mother. But as far as the child is concerned, it has nothing to do with him, it is not his confession. It is the judgement which the parents have established, accusations against him. And the same could be asked about grown-up people who come with lists of sins which they have found in manuals, or been told to consider by their spiritual fathers. And the answer is always the same: it is not my confession, yet it is a challenge which I was given.
And then, the next move, indeed, is to ask, ‘What do you know of Christ? Does He attract you? Do you like Him? Does He mean anything to you? And the answer is varied. Some say, ‘No, I know Him from afar off, I know Him from the Church, from what I was taught, but I never had a personal attitude to Him.’ Then the answer is, ‘Find out. Read the Gospel and try to find out what Christ is like.’ Continue on OCL.ORG

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