Sunday 4 February 2018

Preparation for Confession

The questions listed below are intended to help us identify the symptoms of our spiritual ills. Before confession we must pray for the strength to be able to recount all our sins. The most valuable thing in the eyes of God is the confession of the sin which weighs most on the conscience. However, we should remember that our sins can never outweigh God's love towards us. Even if we seem to have committed all the sins below we should not lose heart. We should repent of the sins we have committed and receive whatever remedy our confessor should lay upon us. Most of all, we should be assured of the Grace of God which will come upon us after a sincere confession of our sins.


Sins Against God

Do you say your daily prayers and those before and after meals?
Have you day dreamed during prayers or rushed them?
Do you read the Scriptures daily? Do you read other spiritual writings regularly?
Have you read anti-Orthodox or spiritually damaging books?
Have you pronounced the name of God without reverence?
Have you asked God's help before starting every activity?
Have you made the sign of the Cross carelessly or thoughtlessly?
Have you sworn? Have you murmured against God?
Have you been slack in attending church?
Have you tried your best to attend church on every Sunday and on the Great Feasts?
Have you joined with non-Orthodox in prayer or attended their worship services?
Have you kept the fasts?
Have you behaved irreverently in church, or before the clergy and monastics?
Have you laughed or talked in church, or moved about unnecessarily?
Have you dressed modestly?
Have you tried to pay reverent attention to the readings, hymns, and prayers in church?
Have you been ashamed of your Faith or the sign of the Cross in the presence of others?
Have you used your Orthodox Faith or its teachings to belittle others?
Have you used it as a shield or excuse for your own inadequacies rather than humbling yourself?
Do you believe in dreams, fortune telling, astrology or any other superstitions?
Do you give thanks to the Lord for all things?
Have you ever doubted God's providence?

Sins Against Your Neighbours

Do you respect and obey your parents, clergy and teachers?
Are you always respectful to the elderly?
Have you fought with or insulted anyone?
Do you use foul language?
Have you mocked the disabled or the poor?
Have you harboured ill will or hatred against anyone?
Have you forgiven those who have offended you?
Have you asked forgiveness from those whom you have offended?
Have you neglected the sick and the elderly?
Have you neglected, or been cruel to, animals in your care?
Have you stolen anything? Have you taken or used other people's things without asking?
Have you kept money or things that were lent you without returning them?
Have you wasted your employer's time or resources?
Have you taken things from work for your own use?
Do you always try to have your own way?
Are you resentful?
Have you been inconsiderate of other people's feelings?
Have you gossiped?
Have you tried to have your revenge against those who have offended you?
Have you lied or deceived others?
Have you judged and condemned others?

Sins Against Yourself

Are you proud? Do you boast of your abilities, achievements or wealth?
Do you consider yourself worthy before God?
Are you vain or ambitious?
Do you try to win praise and glory?
Do you bear it easily when you are blamed, scolded or treated unjustly?
Have you sinned in thought, word or deed, by a look or glance, or in any other way against the seventh commandment? (Adultery, fornication, all extra-marital sexual relationships with others, masturbation, engaging in unnatural sexual acts, fantasizing, pornography, etc.)
Have you been envious?
Have you been over-sensitive?
Have you been lazy?
Have you become obsessive about anything?
Have you been despondent?
Have you had thoughts of committing suicide?
Have you been drunk?
Do you smoke or take recreational drugs?
Have you watched television indiscriminately?
Have you been greedy?
Have you been extravagant or wasteful?
Is there any other sin which burdens your conscience, or which you are ashamed to tell?

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