Saturday, July 2, 2011

Preparing for Confession

I have been reading aloud to Karl as he prepares for his lifetime confession. He is very tired these days and even reading is hard on him. A list of resources we're using for preparation (besides the obvious and indispensable: prayer) looks something like

Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God
Preparing for confession
Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity (Faith Catechism)
What is necessary for a Saving Confession?
Preparation for Holy Confession

Yesterday I tried to make my own pencil and paper list along with the Commandments and Beatitudes. I gave up. It became rapidly uncomfortable. I think it is important for me to do this anyway, despite the circumstance that I am being received by Baptism, because I have also found it difficult to cultivate the idea that everything that has gone before Baptism is meaningless absolved afterward. I want to have a solid, realistic idea of who I am and what has broken my heart.

The Mystery of Repentance is worth discovering. As a newcomer to the Church, I am surprised by how different it is from the 'confession' in movies, the kind that takes place in the warm velvet box. I was raised protestant so I know very little about confession. I am learning. It is compelling.

Often quoted in these resources on confession is Isaac of Syria:

"Never say that God is just. If he were just you would be in hell. Rely only on His injustice which is mercy, love and forgiveness."


  1. Not sure what you mean by "because I have also found it difficult to cultivate the idea that everything that has gone before Baptism is meaningless afterward"

    but nothing God has put in our life is meaningless; all of the places you were before are what brought you to where you are now. For example, my childhood being raised protestant was God's plan for me and gave me many beautiful things. I thank God for it all.

    Hope my comment is helpful, I could be misunderstanding your sentence.

    So sorry to hear of Karl's exhaustion. Prayers.

  2. I edited the entry. You are correct, my sentence was not clear.

    I meant that terrible things I have done and things I should have done but did not are erased in Baptism, and I desire to be aware of them beforehand so that I can actually let them go.

  3. right, I get it now. Thanks for the clarification and your graciousness. I appreciate your sharing of your journey. Thank you.

  4. I found your link on the NaBloPoMo blogroll. It's fascinating to listen to the inner process of someone undergoing a conversion. Even more so a conversion to a deeper walk with the Lord. Thank you for sharing your story, and I look forward to learning more about Orthodoxy through your journey!

  5. Hello, Sarai.

    I peeked at your journal, too, as I joined NaBloPoMo. I can't say I ever thought I would write openly about God, but here I am.


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