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:: Friday, September 05, 2003 ::

Confession as an Ecclesial Event: Part II

There was something else that was puzzling about the essay by Fr. Davis. He cites 1 John 1:8 as a proof text for our ability to confess to Christ alone. The verse reads thus: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

I am very curious to hear how this particular verse proves that, as he put it, "all will receive forgiveness when praying to Christ alone."? It doesn't seem to speak to the issue at all. If the author meant 1 John 1:18, that makes a little more sense, but doesn't really prove that confession can or (more importantly) *is even able to be made to Christ alone*.

My objection to this is that the Orthodox Christian never does *anything* alone or privately. I need to remember this more often! All of our actions are done in the presence of not just God but before the angels, saints, and all the heavenly hosts. We are never alone.

Our actions, especially prayer and confession, are also done (as St. Isaac once said) in the presence of all the demons! If the eyes of our nous could be opened for just a few moments to the spiritual reality that constantly surrounds us, we'd probably faint from fear! Or else, like many of the saints, we would simply weep for our sins.

So, whether we are sacramentally repenting or simply asking for forgiveness in the moments following a sin (and, lest it be misunderstood, continual repentance should be our lifestyle!), we never confess our sins "privately."

Not only are we never alone in anything we do, God Himself does not do anything "alone"! All of the actions of God are done in divine community. Thus, we experience the divine energies of God in a Trinitarian manner. God can and does forgive sins, but he does this through Christ and the Holy Spirit and within His Church.

:: Karl :: 8:46:00 AM [Link] ::

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