On Confession

Confession is the deepest need of every man.

Hence in everyday life people often tell their fellowmen the "burdens" they carry, but it is not the same. A man cannot be saved by an ordinary man.

The wound should be opened by an experienced surgeon, to be cleaned from the fester, to be treated and healed. And so it is with confession. The confession made to the spiritual father is a Holy Mystery and as such it is our opening towards God. Our seeking for help and acceptance of God's intervention in our life through the word (counsels), prayers, and blessing of our spiritual father. We must not consciously hide our sins, moderate them or justify ourselves. A confession like that is of no use.

The first coming for a confession serves for the greatest part to unite the man to the Church. Then most frequently are confessed and pardoned the heaviest sins that cut off those who have committed them from the Church. Sin is an existential failure, breaking up of our community with God, and not merely an offence against the law. The further going for a confession has more a character of a spiritual guidance, which is an essential need of us all.

As for every problem in our spiritual life, we should discuss it with and seek counsels from our priest, and not visit enchanters and soothsayers, since it is a great sin, by which we cause ourselves immeasurable spiritual harm, and at the same time we create a possibility for mental illness. There is no union between light and darkness.

(excerpt from the Epistle On Fasting, on Prayer, on Confession and on Holy Communion , from the book Homily from Eleusa )