пятница, 13 ноября 2009 г.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. ON CONFESSION

 Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
                    ON CONFESSION
                     1st sermon
                  12th September 1999
                           ----


In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


I was asked to give a certain number of sermons on Confession; because
many come to Confession and repeat only things which they have read in
manuals  of devotion or which other people have told them about. And I
would  like  to  start  where  I  start  with a child and attract your
attention to the fact that our situation is the same.


When a child comes to Confession, usually he brings either on paper or
by  memory  a  long  list,  or  a short list, of sins. And when he has
finished,  I always say, ▒Are these things which break your heart? Are
these  things  which  you  feel  are  wrong in you? Did you invent for
yourself this confession?▓ And most of the time the answer is, ▒No, my
mother  gave  me this list because that makes her cross!▓ After that I
usually  have  a conversation with the mother. But as far as the child
is concerned, it has nothing to do with him, it is not his confession.
It  is  the  judgement which the parents have established, accusations
against  him.  And  the  same could be asked about grown-up people who
come with lists of sins which they have found in manuals, or been told
to  consider  by their spiritual fathers. And the answer is always the
same:  it  is  not  my  confession,  yet it is a challenge which I was
given.


And  then,  the  next  move,  indeed,  is to ask, ▒What do you know of
Christ? Does He attract you? Do you like Him? Does He mean anything to
you?  And  the  answer  is varied. Some say, ▒No, I know Him from afar
off,  I  know Him from the Church, from what I was taught, but I never
had  a  personal attitude to Him.▓ Then the answer is, ▒Find out. Read
the Gospel and try to find out what Christ is like.▓


And  the  next  move: ask yourself, ▒Do I like Him? Would I wish to be
His  disciple,  His friend? If the answer is ▒no▓, then begin to think
about  your  whole  situation, because if Christ means nothing, if you
dislike  Him, if He is no image of what you would like to be, then you
must  start  a  long,  long way away. But if you can say, ▒Yes! I like
Him,  I can respect Him, I can admire Him. Yes, I would like to be His
personal  friend  if  He was here,▓ then my next question will be, ▒Do
you know what friendship is?▓


Friendship  consists  most  of  all  in choosing someone among all the
people  to  be to you the one you treasure above all, whom you admire,
by whom you are prepared to stand in case of danger or unpleasantness;
one to whom you wish to give joy.


Ask  yourself these questions with regard to Christ; and ask yourself,
in  what  way  have you tried in the past week to give some joy to the
Lord  Jesus  Christ,  or  in what way have you been for Him a cause of
pain. ▒I have loved him to the point of giving My life and My death to
him and he does not care at all. Not for My suffering or My death, but
for Me▓.


If  that  is  the conclusion, begin to re-examine all your status as a
Christian.  If  you can say, ▒yes, I choose Him as a friend,▓ begin to
ask  yourself  every  day, every day: what have I done, said, thought,
felt, been, which can be to Him a joy or a pain?


And  when  you  will come to Confession that is what you must bring to
Confession; between the last Confession and today▓s Confession this is
what  I  have  been:  an  unfaithful  friend, an indifferent friend, a
cowardly  friend,  or  on  the  contrary, no, I have chosen Him for my
friend and I stood by Him . . .


Think in those terms; and we will see in the following sermons of mine
what  else we can think and do, and prepare, to pronounce a Confession
that  will  be  your  own; the truth, the rock bottom of your life and
heart, the truth about your relationship with Christ. Amen.
                           ----


 


           Metropolitan Anthony of  Sourozh Library
                   http://www.mitras.ru/eng/

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