Friday, June 11, 2010

Huried Confessions

Q & A with Fr Job:
Question: I prepared for Confession, and wrote my sins on a piece of paper. In the church there were lots of people, and the Batiushka didn’t have the possibility of listening to me or reading my piece of paper. The prayer of absolution was read over me, but the priest did not know what I had written. In such a case do I need to confess these sins once again, or are they already forgiven by the Lord?

Answer: In order to receive forgiveness of sins from God, one needs to have in the soul a sincere penitential feeling and confess one’s transgressions. St John of Kronstadt wrote: “The Master, as the Seer of Hearts, knows that people are inclined to all extreme falls, and having fallen, often get up, therefore he gave the commandment to forgive falls into sin; and He Himself is the first to fulfill His holy word: as soon as you say from your heart 'I repent' – at that moment you’re forgiven" (My Life in Christ). You had penitence, you named your sins to God, the priest read the prayer of absolution – that means your transgressions are forgiven. You don’t need to repent of them further. Another time, when there aren’t so many people, the priest can read your piece of paper with your sins, perhaps, and ask questions and give beneficial advice.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

One might add that it sometimes seems people deliberately choose to come to confession at times when there is a line of people waiting, and a service about to begin, knowing that the priest will be rushed and not have time to address their spiritual state. If confession is important - and it is - then we need to make time for it at a time when our spiritual father will actually have time to listen and respond.

Felix Culpa said...

An excellent point!

Fr Justin said...

A great post, I just want to make sure I understand his meaning. If we don't actually verbally confess our sins due to lack of time they are still forgiven if we have inwardly repented? Or is it that we must at least name them, but may not have time to go into detail? I love these Q + A's with Fr. Job, Thx

Felix Culpa said...

I think it's the former, particularly considering the quotation from St John of Kronstadt.

nothinghypothetical.com said...

I do not think this is too much to say, but one time I walked up to give confession and my mind literally blanked. There weren't many people waiting, but it still would have been impolite to hold up the line. I confessed that I had forgotten my sins and my priest told me that I must have been truly repentant and God had granted me the forgetfulness. He just said the prayer over me and I walked out. I think that was the only time I felt peace after confession (usually the knots take many hours to unwind from my stomach).