There are 34 questions in this category.
After I confess and repent, I fall into despair and feel worse than I did before confessing. I go home feeling like I am the biggest sinner and not worthy to be God's child. I am very honest with my father of confession and with my Heavenly Father about my sins; and I thought confession is a type of cleansing. How can I overcome this feeling of self condemnation, guilt and frustration?
At confession, if we inadvertently forget to confess a sin to our spiritual father, are we still forgiven for that sin through the absolution given by the priest?
At what age should anyone start to confess and why?
Can a Coptic Orthodox member confess to a Greek Orthodox priest instead of a Coptic Orthodox priest?
Can a priest pray the absolution for a person who has committed a capital murder, given that that person did not surrender his actions to local authorities? Our understanding is that church is not a safe haven for criminals through confession. Also, is it a standard procedure that a priest denies the absolution to that person until he/she surrender to local authority? Another controversial issue is a priest praying absolution for a confessing person who has committed multiple adulteries without informing the spouse involved. Are we treating sins differently? Isn't all sins equal in the eyes of the Lord? The last controversy is the life of St. Mosses the Black. His pre-Christian life involved multiple capital crimes; he not only didn't surrender to authority, but also became the head of a monastery and a famous Christian figure.
Does the Holy Spirit come into the heart of the confession father during the sacrament of confession to:
Prevent him from saying or making ANY mistakes?
Prepare him to receive the confession, and guide him to give the right instructions only?
Due to the pandemic, I will confess today on the phone. Is it truly a sacrament? Is the absolution completely valid as if we were in person?
How does one go about finding a truly spiritual Father of Confession? Not all priests take the spiritual life as seriously as a person may desire. In such a case, should one look for a bishop, monk, or other to confess to?
I am 17 years old and I do not have a Father of Confession. I used to believe that I do not need a Father of Confession, and that I could just "confess" to God. But now I realize that is not enough. We do not have a full-time priest and I cannot think of any specific priest I am comfortable with. Is it alright to have a Father of Confession so far away because I know I will not see him as often as I would like. Do you have any advice for me?
I am a Coptic Orthodox Christian from the Eritrean Orthodox Church. I have recently started to confess. With the grace of God, I have also taken Holy Communion. But, each time I am done with repentance, I remember a new sin, and by then, I have had confession repeatedly for several times but did not get a chance to take Holy Communion. This time, again, I have remembered another sin that I have done in the past and during this time we are in Holy Week. Can I confess during Holy Week. My father of confession is the only priest we have in our community, and he has been delivering to us Holy Week services via online (as with the current situation). I feel like he is too busy to take my confession. Plus, I am also scared that I will remember another sin later. This has been bothering me a lot lately and is keeping me focused on my past rather than my present.
I am wondering, will God forgive my past sins? In my past job, I used to have my breaks longer than usually which means that I was not working the total hours for which I was paid. I confessed this to my father of confession and he absolved me for this. In my next confession, I told him that I still feel guilty. He told me that I need to forgive myself for it, for God has forgiven me already. I still feel guilty for being dishonest in the past. Do I have to do something to undo this? Will God tell me, when I am standing in front of him after I die, that I should have returned the money that I unworthily accepted to the rightfully owner? I continually feel guilty and fear. What should I do?
I come to you with a question that has been weighing heavily on my heart, and that has taken much peace from me. There have been certain thoughts that I have been battling for about two years, but I have always turned away the thought once I had it and almost always were disgusted by them. However, recently, I have begun to argue with the thoughts. These thoughts recently are of lustful relationships directed wrongly in more than one kind of way (i.e., towards a boy not around my age). At first the thought was basically doubting that this is wrong. There was one time that I was, in my mind, trying to argue against/convince myself that a specific thought that I was thinking of was wrong, and then I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that all of these thoughts are wrong, and that I will marry a nice boy my age (as opposed to all the other stuff I was thinking), and I felt a great happiness and peace. Because the doubt that it is wrong still battled me, I brought the thoughts to light in front of a priest, where I was assured that these things were ungodly. It occurred to me that the Holy Spirit said I would marry, which would mean that I am guaranteed that time on earth until then (I am in college). Thus I can do whatever I want right now and repent about it later before marriage, then I will still go to heaven and everything will be fine all the same. In the beginning of this thought, I felt the Holy Spirit (or who I thought was the Holy Spirit) respond to me, "and who told you that God would accept you if you did that?", meaning if I do bad things now and seek mercy later. That thought was not enough to sustain me, for I know that all who repent are accepted by God, and non-acceptance would only hold true if I do not truly repent from my heart (which I would "plan" to do). I knew this was from the devil, but I listened to it, and considered it greatly. There were even some bad actions that I did that were in accordance with those thoughts until I read later about some stories of people who have felt or heard things that seemed to be coming from the Holy Spirit but were actually from the devil, so my resolution to remain good and in purity was weak. I have betrayed God, willingly and knowingly, and it was not until now that I realized the depth of my selfishness and lack of love for God. The only thing now keeping me in self-control is the possibility that the voice I heard was not from the Holy Spirit, and that I could die any minute, and my salvation is at stake. I think my selfishness is more than anyone in the world, for I feel like I care very little or not at all about what Jesus feels; the only thing is that I get to heaven. It even occurred to me that I could be causing tears in my heavenly Father's eyes for this, but my mind answered that it is okay, He will forgive and forget and it will be like nothing happened. It is cruel of me, and yet I do not know how to change this feeling. I realize that even if that was the Holy Spirit, my salvation is still at stake because the further one gets into sin, the harder it is to come out, especially with sins pertaining to the body. I think those leave permanent damage as it remains in one's memory as well. I also know that repentance cannot be "planned," and God knows the heart, and would not accept "planned" repentance at the last minute out of fear, for it would not be true repentance. Even knowing this, my self-control is not strong at all if the case is that what I felt was the Holy Spirit, for I think that I would be able to have a truly repentant heart later. Please, to help me understand the consequences of sin (especially the immediate consequences and permanent consequences), because I apparently do not. I have been reading the Life of Repentance and Purity by Pope Shenouda and it has helped, and was one of the places where I read about what sounds like the Holy Spirit is not always the Holy Spirit (and in the Bible I have read of evil spirits proclaiming the truth, which helped me when I had that it must surely be the Holy Spirit since He said that the thoughts were bad). It also greatly helped me to realize that many saints knew of things that were going to happen to them in the future: St. Mary, Simeon the Elder, David the Prophet, etc. These people knew that their life on earth was not going to be over at least for some time. They could have thought like me and did whatever they wanted and perhaps still returned to God, but they did not. In fact, they were often strengthened and they remained steadfast in the faith. How did they do it? What am I missing? What is the other side of the argument here? I assume it is love for God (for I keep thinking to myself, if this would upset my mother, I would do my utmost best not to do it, for even though my mom might forgive me later, I do not want to be the cause of her grievance), but for God, I sadly realized I do not have any of that love to be able to do what these saints did. I feel like God would just forget later about anything I do now. God has not left me. I cried out to Him, knowing that I was going down a horrible path, knowing that my heart is betraying Him and that I will surely regret it heavily later, and He has upheld me. He has had great mercy on me, and it is only by His grace that I am not in a bad place right now, for He has carried me through countless temptations. As for me, I am sinful and weak, and still do not have the fervor for Christ as I would like, and still temptations come, and strongly. I do not know what to do. I know these desires will decrease when I am older. I know and have felt that life with Christ is sweet, even in the midst of the battle, if I am fighting on Christ's side with a strong resolve to resist evil, I am joyful. Yet, the pleasure of sin remains tempting, and in my head, sometimes outweighs the sweetness of life with Christ, for I think that I can have both. Sin now, repent later. I know there is a lie about all of this thinking, for the devil is deceptive, and the Bible said you cannot serve two masters. I do not know how to fight the thought that I probably will not die soon. Please advise me on what I should do. I confess regularly, but have been unable to set up a time with my father of confession recently during the time when these thoughts have been strongest.
I do not want to confess because I feel embarrassed. What can I do?
I find myself continually trying to recall sins that I have forgotten to confess. While doing so, I get wrapped up in sins that I have already confessed/repented of. Should I continue on this back thought brainstorming, or just try to move forward and not sin anymore?
I have been having Confession seriously since childhood. Recently, I have been struggling with a couple of issues. I tried listening to sermons and going on the Q & A online, but God did not send me His answer yet. (1) Priest Unavailability How can the church require people to confess every month or every two months but cannot because the priest is unavailable for Confession due to the large congregation and service? One will never go to church to take Communion, but find the priest is not available. It makes me question Confession. Should Confession be a spiritual tool not a Sacrament? (I am not the kind of a person that uses the Confession Father as Psychiatrist, calling him on every single issue). I am a very busy but organized person, seeking an explanation. (2) Priest’s Knowledge about People I find it hard to believe that priests forget everything you say after Confession. I am sure that they do forget some. I think they subconsciously place people in service and church factoring their prior knowledge of that person and what they hear in Confession. How can Confession be considered as a Sacrament if there are flaws in it? I will use Communion as example: There is no doubt that Communion is Jesus’ Body and Blood. But as for Confession, there are a lot of variables that are making me struggle to accept that it is a Sacrament. I love our priest and I know he is working so hard to the best of his ability. The purpose of these questions is to understand, not to complain. FYI—I never got a chance to discuss my issues with my Father Confessor because he is not available.
I have been wondering if confession on the phone is acceptable if your confessor father agrees to it.
I love my Father of confession dearly; and I feel he truly cares about me. However, because he works hard serving his people, he is usually exhausted when I go for confession. Also, I feel that he does not fulfill my needs and desire for spiritual guidance. I am afraid he might be offended if I tell him so or if I go to another priest at the same church. What should I do?
If I were to confess to any priest I would confess much more often to different priests. This way I would be confessing to God without having to worry about one particular priest knowing everything about my life. Also, if I were Catholic, I would confess more often because they confess behind a screen (probably to different priests every few weeks) without revealing themselves. Sticking to the same priest might help me avoid sins because of embarrassment and shame. However, firstly it is not a sin to regularly change priests. Secondly, fear and embarrassment from the confession priest are not good enough reasons to avoid sin. I would prefer to not sin because I fear God and love him and want to do what he has commanded. So, is it sinful to confess to different priests? Isn't the essence of confession to confess to God (in front of the priest) and not to confess to the priest?
In the Holy Gospel of St. John, it says, "
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained
" (John 20:23).
According to this biblical verse, suppose that the confessional father puts us under a test to see if we will make the mistake again, will our sin not be forgiven until we pass that test?
In the Mystery of Confession, must the priest understand the sin of the confessor in order for the latter to be forgiven even though the absolution is read?
Is it a sin if I confess but do not say a certain confession, even if I never feel ready to talk to my priest about this sin? I still have to say it right? I am really afraid and uncomfortable to tell or to talk about it. I do not feel comfortable to write it down, too. I am afraid to be judged. I do not want my priest to look at me in a different way. The last time I confessed, I did not feel this relief.
Is it true that you can confess through e-mail? For example, if a priest or bishop you were comfortable with lived far away, could you e-mail them your "sins."
Is there any reference in the Holy Bible to confession as being necessary before partaking of Holy Communion? Also, is there a reference to confessing our sins to a priest?
I've lost my virginity and regret it everyday. I've decided that I am going to wait till marriage to have sex again and to start getting closer to my faith. I know the first step is to confess my sins, but I feel like I can't bring myself to do it because of the amount of shame I'll feel telling my father of confession. He has watched me grow up and has known me since I was a child. I feel like I will never find the courage to confess out of embarrassment and guilt. I also fear that I will repeat my sin again. What advice can you give?
Many denominations do not have "Confession" and do not believe it to be essential for their "Salvation." Why does the Coptic Orthodox Church believe in "Confession?"
Outside of confession with my spiritual father, is it okay to vent or express my emotions to others, such as to family or close friends, regarding situations in my life that are bothering me? Of course, I do not mean talking about my shortcomings, or a personal habit, since that should only be discussed with my spiritual father, but a situation that occurred at school, work, etc.? Is venting or talking to someone about things or situations in my life me complaining, not being thankful, and showing God that I do not look to all the good that He does for me everyday? What does the Bible say about venting, expressing, talking things out, and sharing thoughts and feelings towards a situation with others?
Recently, I have been trying to correct mistakes I have made in my life; and I know I have some sins to confess. I am a 19 year old male, a recent convert into Coptic Orthodoxy. I have confessed in the past, but feel very scared to confess again; because I feel I have done many bad sins and I am afraid of my father of confession's reaction. I think I may even need to confess something that I have done before my baptism. Can Your Grace give me some advice to overcome this fear and confess? Does Your Grace recommend any books?
Regarding making confession time only for confession, what if what I need advice in is directly related to what I am confessing? Moreover, would it be okay to continue seeking advice/confessing to the priest that I previously spoke to until my father of confession responds to me? I have sent some messages but no response—I am sure due to other responsibilities during this time. However, at this time I need advice regarding something in my spiritual life and fear waiting too long before confession/spiritual guidance (which for me right now is at times shorter than 40 days).
Two years ago, my friend practiced oral sex, but didn't confess it. What is the church's view on that? What will happen to my friend if he does not confess his sin?
What happens if I repent for my sins but don't take the next step of confessing?
When I confess, for example, if I had watched something inappropriate, I would tell my father of confession, "I watched inappropriate things," or if I swear, for example, instead of saying, 'I swear,' I would just say, "I said inappropriate things," but I will not specifically state what it was. Does that count; like is that fine or am I supposed to specifically state what it was?
When two priest differ in their opinion on the same issue concerning a major decision in life (the choice of your partner in marriage), who do you believe; and who of the two is God speaking through? Can God say two different things to two different people concerning the same issue?
Why do I have to confess to a priest? Isn't it enough to confess directly to God?
Why does it matter if you confess to a priest instead of directly to God even when you feel remorse for your sins and confess to someone else? St. Moses the Strong never confessed to a priest, bishop, or anyone of that sort, but instead he confessed to an entire group of people. Explain why the priests and bishops act on behalf of God, and you cannot confess your sins straight to God.
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