Beloved in Christ Our Savior,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
PREPARATION FOR THE MYSTERION (SACRAMENT) OF REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION
God does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that the sinners turn away from their sins and live. In the Holy Mystery (ion) or Sacrament of Repentance/Confession we have the means to obtain forgiveness of our sins, and be restored to the favor of God, Our Heavenly Father.
In order to make a good confession, it is necessary to prepare yourself carefully. Ask God to give you the grace to make a thorough examination of your conscience, and the courage to make a sincere and complete confession. Ask Him for the strength to amend your way of life in the days to come.
Begin your examination with the time of your last confession; try to recall whether you omitted anything through carelessness or lapse of memory, or from fear of embarrassment. Examine yourself with the assistance of the form of Self Examination according to the Ten Commandments of God which follows.
It is most necessary that you be truly sorry for the sins which you have committed, and that you truly are determined to amend your way of life. Accordingly, when you have finished your self-examination, say the Prayer of Repentance, and recite Psalm 50.
"I am the LORD Thy God; Thou shall have no other gods before Me."
* Have I believed in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?
* Have I failed to trust in God and His mercy?
* Have I complained against God in adversity?
* Have I been thankful for God's blessings?
* Have I doubted the Christian Faith and the teachings of the Church?
* Have I tried to serve God and keep His Commandments?
* Have I wrongfully believed in superstition?
* Have I neglected my duties to God through fear of ridicule or persecution?
* Have I failed to pray to God faithfully?
* Have I put myself before God?
"Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image."
* Have I made an idol of any person or thing?
* Have I given to anyone or anything the worship that is due to God alone?
* Have I set before myself the Holy life of Jesus and tried to imitate Him?
* Have I read the Holy Scripture regularly?
* Have I been irreverent during church services, or let my attention wander, or been insincere?
"Thou shall not take the Name of the LORD thy GOD in vain."
* Have I profaned the Holy Name of God in anyway?
* Have I cursed anyone or anything?
* Have I sworn a false oath?
* Have I failed to give proper reverence to holy persons and things?
* Have I had due respect for the clergy of the Church, or hindered them in performing God's work?
* Have I broken any solemn vow or promise?
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
* Have I stayed away from Church on Sundays, or prevented others from going?
* Have I done unnecessary work on Sundays?
* Have I spent the day in an unwholesome fashion, or profaned it by improper conduct?
* If I could not go to Church because of illness or other grave causes, have I prayed at home?
* Have I kept the Feast and Festivals as prescribed by the Church?
"Honor your father and thy mother."
* Have I respected my parents and been obedient to them?
* Have I been guilty of deception, or caused them pain by my words or actions?
* Have I neglected them or failed to help them?
* Have I done my duty towards my family?
* Have I been wanting in kindness toward my spouse, or harmed them in any way?
* Have I set a good example for my children, and tried to bring them up properly? Have I corrected their faults with patience and not with anger? Have I over-indulged them or spoiled them?
* Have I neglected my god-children and failed in my obligations towards them?
* Have I worked for my employer honestly and diligently? Have I treated fairly those who have worked for me?
* Have I honored God as my Heavenly Father by treating others as my brothers and sisters in Christ?
* Have I honored the Church as my Spiritual Mother by honoring and practicing my religion in accordance with her teachings?
"Thou shall not kill."
* Have I caused the injury or death of any one?
* Have I wished that I were dead?
* Have I done anything to shorten my own life or that of someone else by injuring my health or someone else's health through evil and intemperate living?
* Have I given way to anger, or harmed others with my words or actions?
* Have I defamed others who needed help, or failed to stand up for those who are unjustly treated?
* Have I been cruel to anyone?
* Have I mistreated animals or destroyed any life unnecessarily?
* Have I failed to forgive anyone, or harbored evil thoughts against them?
"Thou shall not commit adultery."
* Have I given way to impure thoughts, words, or deeds?
* Have I committed any unworthy actions alone, or with others?
* Have I degraded myself in any way, or forgotten human dignity?
* Have I read immoral books or magazines, or delighted in obscenity of any kind?
* Have I associated with bad companions, or frequented unsavory places?
* Have I eaten too much? Have I indulged in too much drink? Have I smoked or used substances that harm my body?
* Have I been lazy, idle, or wasted my time?
* Have I led others to commit sinful acts?
* Have I been unfaithful to any trust confided in me?
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Please note: There are some of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are not familiar with the Sacrament of Repentance/Confession and therefore have many questions about it and how to prepare for it. I am in the process of producing a pamphlet to assist all of you with this most necessary and important Sacrament of the Church. When it is printed we will make sure that all of you will have it.
May God bless you always.
+ Father George