On confession of one's sins

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In Confession, the Church wants one to reveal his hidden shadow [the hidden thing that overshadows him].

In Confession, the Church wants one to show the wounds to his soul that he is hiding behind the appearance of health.

In Confession, the Church wants one to reveal the weakness that he is hiding behind the mask of strength.

In Confession, the Church wants one to reveal the festering sore on his soul, the sore whose surface he is artfully occluding with perfumed ointments.

In Confession, the Church wants one who is playing the role of the splendid knight to show himself for what he is, the ruinous person he actually is when he is alone.

No one goes to a physician to boast about his health. He goes in order to reveal to him the place on his health that is rotten. In precisely the same way, one goes to a spiritual director to reveal to him some dangerous crack in his righteousness

When one crosses the threshold of a doctor’s office, he leaves behind all of his pride, so that he can pick it up again as he goes out again among people. When a person goes to Confession, he must leave all of his pride outside the threshold of the church. And it is good for him to leave it there when he again goes out among people. God grant that at the exit, he find a different crutch: instead of picking up his pride, that he take up humility to give him support in life.

Holy Hierarch Nikolai of Serbia

Repentance consists in no longer doing the same thing henceforth, while he who takes up his former (bad) deeds, according to the prover, cards wool over a fire and draws water with a sieve.

Hierarch John Chrysostom

Whoever has escaped from a prison will not wish to see it another time. Whoever has been delivered from captivity prays that he will never fall into captivity (that is, repentance consists in not returning to one's former sins).

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Thou art ashamed and blushest when it is necessary to tell thy sins (to a priest at confession). It is better to be ashamed to sin than to confess. Consider: If confession is not offered here, then everything will be confessed there before the whole world. Where is there more torment? Where is there more shame? In doing the deed, we are bold and shameless, but when we ought to confess, then we are ashamed and slow.

If thou wantest God to grant thee tears of contrition and dispassion, unceasingly bring to mind thy grave.

Venerable Ephraim the Syrian

Whoever offers repentance ought not only to wash his sin with tears, but ought to cover his former transgressions with better deeds, lest the sin be imputed to him.

Hierarch Ambrose of Milan

If the inclination for them (sins) has also been extirpated from our hearts, this serves as proof that they are forgiven us.

St. John Cassian

Reveal not thy thoughts to everyone, but only to them that can save thy soul.

St. Anthony the Great

Reveal not thy conscience to him to whom thy heart is not well disposed.

St. Pimen the Great

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