Spiritual Message from Fr Elijah:
An elderly Russian priest wrote a letter to a young priest advising him how to teach people to confess:
“We must teach people how to make their confession. How often, instead of a confession, one hears only worldly chatter, boasting, the quoting of flattering opinions about the penitent’s character, complaints about the family and about the difficulties of life.”
If this is the content of my confession, then I am not truly confessing! So why does this happen to us and what can we do about it? He goes on to explain, “This is partly the result of ignorance…sinful entanglement and weakness, when a man does not know how to see himself and does not even try to do so, when he has neither the habit nor the desire to analyse his soul, when he feels no revulsion against sin, no attraction towards the light, no thirst for purification.”
Let us be careful next time we have confession to be focused on the reason we are there. The Prayer for Confession in the Agpia is a simple practical way to ask for God’s help and keep focused on turning away from sin and towards the beauty of God. The final phrase of the prayer summarises these concepts:
“May Your Holy Spirit remind me not to stray. May You enlighten my heart so I can see the graveness of my sins and negligence and have the will to obey Your commandments and live for the glory of Your Holy Name. Amen.