Saturday, June 5, 2010

Confession and Forgiveness

Q & A with Fr Job:
Question: About six years ago I went to a sect and was baptized there, and later I left the sect and never again went there -- it had become repulsive to me. If I repent, will I be forgiven this horrible sin? In my soul and heart I feel that I acted stupidly, but it seems to me that what I did was a very serious sin and now I will bear this in me until the end of my life. I’m simply ashamed for my action. Is it possible somehow to be freed from this feeling, because I want to forget it and never remember it again? It bothers me very much. One more question. Where I live there is no Orthodox church nearby, so what do you advise me?

Answer: The Holy Fathers called repentance a second Baptism. The sincerely repentant receive full forgiveness of their sins. Your sin is very serious, but one must fully trust God’s Word and remember the boundless mercy of God. Deep repentance has nothing to do with despair. On the contrary, such a person should rejoice: “this thy brother was dead, and is alive again: and was lost, and is found” (Lk 15:32).

Until you have the ability to go to the Mystery of Confession in an Orthodox church, repent “in your cell.” In order to bear the fruits of repentance, read daily until Holy Pascha the Canon of Repentance.

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