I’m getting a little better at confession. I’m not as good at forgetting my sins.
I try not to hold onto my sins after confession. And I do think I’m getting better at letting go each time I confess. But the temptation to ruminate on our past sins can be powerful.
When I confess, I bring a list of my sins, and make sure to destroy that list after confessing. A priest I spoke with told me he asks for the lists people bring him, so that he can destroy them himself. He doesn’t want someone carrying around their list like an albatross around their neck. Or worse, like a badge.
Have No Further Concern
Confession can be a scary thing. Our hidden sins are revealed. And we give an accounting of the areas where we fall short in our journey. But the fear of confessing should never hold us back.
If you have sinned, acknowledge the sin and repent. God will forgive the sin and once again give you a new heart…and a new spirit. There is no other way: Either do not sin, or repent.”
– St. Theophan the Recluse
After confession, we receive absolution. Our sins are forgiven by God, and we are made to understand this plainly.
Here are the words of absolution my own priest uses:
“The Lord God through Nathan the prophet forgave David his sin, the adulteress weeping at His feet, Peter shedding bitter tears for his betrayal, and the Publican and the Prodigal son.“May our Lord and God Jesus Christ, through the grace and bounties of his love towards mankind, forgive you my child, all your transgressions; and I, an unworthy priest, through the power given to me by Him, do forgive and absolve you from all your sins: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
“Go in peace all of your sins are forgiven, have no further concern for them. Please pray for me by name.”
You are not your sins
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