Confession and Spiritual Accounting – Elder Ephraim of Arizona, USA

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ARIZONA OF MY HEART

Confession and Spiritual Accounting

Elder Ephraim of Arizona, USA

Source:

http://easternorthodoxspirituality.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX SPIRITUALITY

This confession of yours gave my soul much joy, because God and the angels, who were awaiting it, rejoiced. You succeeded in putting the devil to shame, who greatly rejoices when someone hides his thoughts from his spiritual father. When a snake leaves its lair, it rushes to hide somewhere because it feels as if it will be struck—the same thing happens with a diabolical thought, which is like a poisonous snake. When such a thought leaves a person’s mouth, it disperses and disappears, because confession is humility, and since Satan cannot even bear the smell of humility, how could he possibly remain after a humble, sincere confession? My child, I wish you a good beginning and cautious progress. Don’t be ashamed before me. Don’t see me as a man, but as a representative of God. Tell me everything, even if you have a bad thought about me, because I am experienced with demonic influences, and I know how the devil fights man. I know that spiritual children have simple hearts and that if evil thoughts come to them, it is due to the devil’s malice and the spiritual child’s ego, who is permitted to fall and have such thoughts against his Elder, so that the spiritual child may be humbled more. Therefore, don’t worry. I will always rejoice when you speak freely and sincerely to me, for without frank confession, there will be no spiritual progress.

My child, have no worries. I have taken up your burden. I only beg you to be at peace. Your words may be just on paper, but I feel the power, the meaning, and the essence of what you write; I enter into the spirit of your words. I entreat you to be at peace from now on. You are forgiven everything with the confession you made. Satan perceived your character and torments you, but without anything serious having occurred. Everything you write (that is, the thoughts that torture you ) is a trick of the evil one to make you despair, be distressed, and so forth. Throw everything that happened to you into the depths of the sea. Map out a new course in your life. If you keep thinking the same way, know that you will become the laughing-stock of the demons. I beg you, just be obedient to me. After your confession, everything has been forgiven, so let bygones be bygones. Don’t scratch a wound that made you suffer so much. Don’t be deceived by the thought that it is your fault. If you hadn’t taken him to the doctors, etc., then such thoughts would rightfully fight you. Whereas, as things are now, you have fulfilled your duty. God wanted to take him, for a reason that only His infinite wisdom knows, while you are thinking you killed him! Be careful with this thought, or else it might lurk in your heart. It is a ruse of the devil to harm you, as he knows how. This skilled trickster has drowned in the depths of hell countless multitudes with despair. When something happens and the devil sees that a person is upset by it, his trick is to pile on a multitude of supposedly legitimate thoughts in order to lead the poor person to a great storm and drown him. (As the saying goes, a fox loves a scuffle ). And when the storm passes, he sees that he was in danger of drowning in just a spoonful of water.

Humble yourself, and from now on confess, for confession contains most holy humility, without which no one is saved.  The devil greatly rejoices when he manages to persuade a person to hide diabolical thoughts.  This is because he will achieve his premeditated, soul-destroying goal.

I have written to you about the conscience, that we must be careful not to do something that will make it reproach and condemn us. Bear in mind that God sees everything and that nothing is hidden from His eyes. So how could I tell lies before God? Don’t you know that lies are from the devil, and that by not being careful, it becomes a practice, then a habit, and then a passion, and don’t you know that liars will not inherit the Kingdom of God? (cf. Rev. 21:8 ). Fear God. God is not pleased with material offerings when we neglect attending to our inner heart. But it is necessary to do these also without leaving the others undone. (cf. Mt 23:23 ). Attend to your conscience, for we do not know the hour of our death. And if we do not repay our creditor (our conscience, that is ) everything we owe him, he will accuse us vehemently, without holding back. Then—alas!—our mouth will be silenced, not having any answer to give.

Every night, review how you passed the day, and in the morning review how the night passed, so that you know how your soul’s accounts are doing. If you see a loss, try to regain it through caution and forcefulness. If you see a profit, glorify God, your invisible helper. Do not let your conscience prick you for long, but quickly give it whatever it wants, lest it take you to the judge and the prison (cf. Mt. 5:25 ). Does your conscience want you to attend to your prayer rule* and regain prayer? Give it these things, and behold, you are delivered from going to the judge. Do not weaken the saving voice of your conscience by disregarding it, because later you will regret it to no avail.

*Prayer rule

Α prayer rule consists of the prayers and metanoias** which one does daily, under the guidance of one’s spiritual father.

** Metanoia

Ιn its primary sense, «μετάνοια» (pronounced «meh-tah΄-nee-ah» ) means repentance, literally, “a change of mind”. However, it can also mean the specific act of making the sign of the cross, followed by a bow either down to the ground or to the waist. It is a gesture of reverence, worship, respect, or repentance. A typical prayer rule includes a number of metanoias done while saying the Jesus prayer. Some translators use the word “prostration” for this term.

See to it that you are sincere in your deeds as well as in your words, and especially in confession. For God searches out the hearts and reins (Ps. 7:9 ), and nothing remains obscure in the sight of His sleepless eye. Fear God; God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7 ); He is not fooled. He chastises severely when He does not see sincerity; so be careful. When you are disobedient and commit a secret sin, counteract it by openly revealing it in confession. Do not let your ego overcome you and make you hide the truth and remain uncorrected and passionate. Correct everything now if you want to see good days of dispassion* and peace.

*Dispassion

Dispassion is achieved when all three aspects of the soul (i.e., the intelligent, appetitive, and incensive aspects ) are directed towards God. It is the transfiguration of the passionate aspect of the soul (i.e., the aspect of the soul which is more vulnerable to passion, namely, the appetitive and incensive aspects ), rather than its mortification. Thus dispassion in this context does not signify a stoic indifference, but rather, a transfiguration and sanctification of the powers of the soul and eventually of the body also.

Taken from “Counsels from The Holy Mountain” by Elder Ephraim of Arizona (Philotheou Mt.Athos)

What is necessary for a saving Confession? – Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)

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JESUS CHRIST – ORTHODOXY

What is necessary for a saving Confession?

Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)

What is Confession? Confession is the oral avowal of one’s sins which lie heavy upon the conscience. Repentance cleanses the soul and makes it ready to receive the Holy Spirit, but confession, so to speak, only empties the soul of sins.

Let us present a simple analogy and comparison to confession. For example, suppose you had only one vessel of some kind, which you through negligence or laziness let reach a stage where little by little it accumulated all sorts of dirt so that your vessel became not only unuseable but even unbearable to look at without repugnance. But what if a king wanted to give you as a gift some sort of fragrant and precious balm, one drop of which could heal all infirmities and protect—what then? Would you refuse such a valuable gift only because you had no other clean vessel in which to put it? No! It would be very natural for you to accept such a gift and you would try to clean your vessel. How would you begin to clean your vessel? No doubt, before anything else, you would rid it of all uncleanness; you would begin by washing it with water and, perhaps would even burn it out so that it no longer retained any of its former odors. Isn’t that so?

Now let the vessel represent the soul given to you by God, which you have brought to such a state that it has been filled with all kinds of transgression and iniquities; let the sweet-smelling balm, given by the king, signify the Holy Spirit, Who heals all infirmities and afflictions, Whom the King of heaven and earth, Jesus Christ, freely bestows upon us. To examine your vessel signifies feeling your guilt before God and recalling all sins which have stolen into your Continue reading “What is necessary for a saving Confession? – Saint Innocent of Alaska (+1879)”

Video: Let us never loose hope! – Fr. Ephraim of Arizona, USA

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JESUS CHRIST – ORTHODOXY

Let us never loose hope! – Fr. Ephraim of Arizona, USA

Holy Confession: Confidentiality – From “Guidelines for Clergy”, Orthodox Church in America

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Holy Confession: Confidentiality

From “Guidelines for Clergy” (Orthodox Church in America):

“The secrecy of the Mystery of Penance is considered an unquestionable rule in the entire Orthodox Church. Theologically, the need to maintain the secrecy of confession comes from the fact that the priest is only a witness before God. One could not expect a sincere and complete confession if the penitent has doubts regarding the practice of confidentiality. Betrayal of the secrecy of confession will lead to canonical punishment of the priest.

St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite exhorts the Spiritual Father to keep confessions confidential, even under strong constraining influence. The author of the Pedalion (the Rudder), states that a priest who betrays the secrecy of confession is to be deposed. The Metropolitan of Kos, Emanuel, mentions in his handbook (Exomologeteke) for confessors that the secrecy of confession is a principle without exception.”

In St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite’s Exomologitarion, he writes:

“Nothing else remains after confession, Spiritual Father, except to keep the sins you hear a secret, and to never reveal them, either by word, or by letter, or by a bodily gesture, or by any other sign, even if you are in danger of death, for that which the wise Sirach says applies to you: “Have you heard a word? Let it die with you” (Sir. 19:8); meaning, if you heard a secret word, let the word also die along with you, and do not tell it to either a friend of yours or an enemy of yours, for as long as you live. And further still, that which the Prophet Micah says: “Trust not in friends… beware of thy wife, so as not to commit anything to her” (Mic. 7:5).

For if you reveal them, firstly, you will be suspended or daresay deposed completely by the Ecclesiastical Canons, and according to political laws you will be thrown in jail for the rest of your life and have your tongue cut out. Secondly, you become a reason for more Christians not to confess, being afraid that you will reveal their sins, just as it happened during the time of Nektarios of Constantinople when the Christians did not want to confess on account of a Spiritual Father who revealed the sin of a woman. The divine Chrysostom both witnessed these things and suffered because of them on account of his trying to convince the people to confess. It is impossible for me to describe in words how much punishment this brings upon you, who are the cause of these things.”

St. John of the Ladder writes:

“At no time do we find God revealing the sins which have been confessed to Him, lest by making these public knowledge, He should impede those who would confess and so make them incurably sick.”

The Byzantine Nomocanon states, in Canon 120:

“”A spiritual father, if he reveals to anyone a sin of one who had confessed receives a penance: he shall be suspended [from serving] for three years, being able to receive Communion only once a month, and must do 100 prostrations every day.”

Source:

Orthodox Wiki

 

Confession hours in Greece, Cyprus, England, Germany and USA

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Confession hours in Greece, Cyprus, England, Germany and USA

In all Eastern Orthodox Churches there are Spiritual Fathers appointed to perform the Holy Confession. Here is only some of them:

ATHENS, GREECE

Fr. John Kostof, tel. 2108220542

***

THESSALONICA, GREECE

Fr. George Kougioumtzoglou

St George Orthodox Church

Rotonta 5, Thessalonica

Tel. 2310218720

***

CYPRUS

Fr. Athanasios, Fr. Sabbas

Stavrovouni Monastery, Larnaca

Tel. 22533630

***

ENGLAND

St. John the Baptist Monastery Old Rectory,

Tolleshunt Knights by Maldon, Essex CM9 8EZ United Kingdom

http://greatbritainofmyheart.wordpress.com

***

ARIZONA, USA

Fr. Ephraim Filotheitis & others Spiritual Fathers

http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/index.php

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

St Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona

***

GERMANY

Fr. Philotheos Maroudas

Griechisch-Orthodoxe Kirche Dortmund “Heilige Apostel”

Greek Orthodox Church of Holy Apostles in Dortmund

Address: Luisenstraße 17, 44137 Dortmund, Germany

***

For more Orthodox Churches in all over the world for Holy Confession please send me email:

gkiouz.abel@gmail.com

http://gkiouzelis.blogspot.com

Abel-Tasos Gkiouzelis

Find your nearest Eastern Orthodox Parish in USA & Canada for Holy Confession

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Orthodoxy in America

Find your nearest Eastern Orthodox Church in USA & Canada

for Holy Confession

Pere Ephraïm d’Arizona sur la confession et la responsabilité spirituelle ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French

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ARIZONA OF MY HEART

FRANCE OF MY HEART

Slot Canyon Arizona by David Thompson

geronda efraim 18

Pere Ephraïm d’Arizona

sur la confession et la responsabilité spirituelle

Source:

http://laprieredejesus.blogspot.com

http://laprieredejesus.blogspot.com/2015/11/pere-ephraim-darizona-sur-la-confession.html

La Prière de Jésus

La confession a donné à mon âme beaucoup de joie, parce que Dieu et les anges, qui l’attendaient, se sont réjouis. Tu as réussi à faire honte au Diable, lui qui se réjouit grandement quand quelqu’un cache ses pensées à son père spirituel.

Quand un serpent sort de sa tanière, il se précipite pour se cacher quelque part parce qu’il sent qu’il sera frappé – la même chose se produit avec une pensée diabolique, qui est comme un serpent venimeux. Quand une telle pensée quitte la bouche d’une personne, elle se disperse et disparaît, parce que la confession est humilité, et puisque Satan ne peut même pas supporter l’odeur de l’humilité, comment pourrait-il rester après une humble confession sincère?

Mon enfant, je te souhaite un bon début et un progrès prudent. N’aie pas honte devant moi. Ne me vois pas comme un homme, mais comme un représentant de Dieu. Dis-moi tout, même si tu as une mauvaise pensée sur moi, parce que je suis expérimenté au sujet des influences démoniaques, et je sais comment le Diable combat homme.

Je sais que les enfants spirituels ont des cœurs simples et que si les mauvaises pensées viennent à eux, cela est dû à la malice du Diable et à l’ego de l’enfant spirituel, qui est autorisé à tomber et à avoir des pensées contre son frère, afin que l’enfant spirituel puisse être plus humble. Par conséquent, ne t’inquiète pas. Je vais toujours me réjouir quand tu me parles librement et Continue reading “Pere Ephraïm d’Arizona sur la confession et la responsabilité spirituelle ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French”

Confession: The Healing Sacrament – By Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

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ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Confession: The Healing Sacrament

by

Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands

Source:

http://www.antiochian.org

http://www.antiochian.org/content/confession-healing-sacrament

A young monk said to the great ascetic Abba Sisoes: “Abba, what should I do? I fell.” The elder answered: “Get up!” The monk said: “I got up and I fell again!” The elder replied: “Get up again!” But the young monk asked: “For how long should I get up when I fall?” “Until your death,” answered Abba Sisoes. —Sayings of the Desert Fathers

“When I went to my first confession,” a friend told me, “tears took the place of the sins I meant to utter. The priest simply told me that it wasn’t necessary to enumerate everything and that it was just vanity to suppose that our personal sins are worse than everyone else’s. Which, by the way, was something of a relief, since it wasn’t possible for me to remember all the sins of my first thirty-odd years of life. It made me think of the way the father received his prodigal son—he didn’t even let his son finish his carefully rehearsed speech. It’s truly amazing.”

Another friend told me that he was so worried about all he had to confess that he decided to write it down. “So I made a list of my sins and brought it with me. The priest saw the paper in my hand, took it, looked through the list, tore it up, and gave it back to me. Then he said ‘Kneel down,’ and he absolved me. That was my confession, even though I never said a word! But I felt truly my sins had been torn up and that I was free of them.”

The very word confession makes us nervous, touching as it does all that is hidden in ourselves: lies told, injuries caused, things stolen, friends deceived, people betrayed, promises broken, faith denied—these plus all the smaller actions that reveal the beginnings of sins.

Confession is painful, yet a Christian life without confession is impossible.

Confession is a major theme of the Gospels. Even before Christ began His public ministry, we read in Matthew’s Gospel that John required confession of Continue reading “Confession: The Healing Sacrament – By Jim Forest, USA & the Netherlands”

Video: Confession – Be the Bee ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* ORTHODOX USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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Confession – Be the Bee ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* ORTHODOX USA