Today: December 16 2018
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I confess that I'm not an angel

I confess that I'm not an angel

Tags: Religion, Christianity

Time of confession. People bring to the analogy with the Gospel and utter, extract from the soul at times real gravities, and at times some set of Church Slavic words, ascetic rhetoric, is not always appropriate.

For example, a person confesses regularly lists what he does not have. "There is no patience," "there is no humility," and so on. I catch myself thinking: can there be a time when you (I, she, they) can say: "With humility, I already have order. Only patience is not enough "? Of course, we can not imagine that time will come for such a phrase, none of us can. Lack of patience, prayerful concentration, the same humility that everyone has on their lips, but it seems that no one really understands what it is ... Absence, I say, of all these virtues is represented in the form of some kind of eternal insufficiency. And I would run away with the fear of a man talking about himself, that he is "very humble."

Therefore, the question is born: is it really necessary to repeat these sacred evidences every time in confession? By default, they should be understandable and professing the priest, and come to confession to a person. By default, much is clear. And if he came to confession not for the first time to the same father, then even more so. Is it worth, for example, a woman who for 50, to explain to a familiar priest that she is not 19? Hardly. Is that the principle of "a talk?".

So, can we sometimes leave behind some brackets some obvious things, including an understandable and inevitable shortage of the aforementioned virtues for all of us?

I just ask and do not say anything.

The penitential speeches of a layman should not be distinguished by an excess of ascetic terms. "Complete obedience," "bringing the mind to the heart," "ceaseless lament for sins." There are people in whose mouth these words are full of meaning. But there are people who can not utter these words, because they do not yet know the meaning, price, or taste of them. And when a person says that he "dissipates in prayer," and "his faith is not fiery," and "doubts visit", then all this is appropriate from time to time, but not every time a poem that has been confirmed by heart. Then it's better to just say: I confess that I'm not an angel.

Bright angels have a fiery faith, a prayer that is unseen, there is no dejection, there is no worldly fear or cowardice either. No fatigue. And I have it all. And there is something else. That is, I want to be like an angel, but it does not work out at all. Not even a single drop. In this I repent. Yes that there "I repent"! From this gap between desire and reality, one can fall into despair or despair. I want to live in the sky, and creep in the mud, and the end is not visible to this painful rupture. From this suffering, many problems arise and, as a result, many souls that have fallen away.

That's why the fathers said that if you see the newborn, who ascends to heaven, pull him by the feet. And that's why it is so important to measure (with the help of wise advice from the side and own reasoning) the degree of personal spiritual health with a measure of exploits raised on the shoulders. Excessive spiritual work can break, maim a person. And there, you see, there is genuine dejection, and a complete rejection of faith. God forbid!

Excessive spiritual work can break, maim a person.

In addition, in sins and imperfections of an ascetic nature, one must not repent at all in the first place. For example, such sins as "did not read the rule", "missed the reading of the Psalter," "ate a piece of fish" and so on, do not have the right to rivet the main attention of the penitent to themselves. People, like clothes - moth, are eaten out by lies, resentments, empty chatter (I do not even call it the high term "idle talk"). And also - laziness, envy, all sorts of fuss. With such a heartfelt mood (and few exceptions), attempts at spiritual feats are very similar to trying to play a good tune on a completely upset instrument. And the notes are correct (read - ascetic recommendations), and the musician is good (the grace of God is not depleted). But still some kind of "dog waltz" sounds from under the keys. And no wonder, because the instrument is upset.

God needs holiness from us, not neuroses. And to bring Him you need not other people's words, even if they are very right and good, but your own life, no matter how unsightly it may be. And virtue, as the Monk Seraphim said, she "is not a pear, you will not eat it at a time".

Archpriest Andrei Tkachev
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