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If I have done a sin which is really really bad and I have confessed it and I have done it agian and agian but Im too embrassed to say the sin agian cause we dont know what abouna is going to react to it. What do I do?
Requested by Sherimaria and Answered by Billious-MicMek on 27-Jul-2005 04:05 (2013 reads)
There are two important issues to talk about here, and they're sort of related:

1. It is well known that there are some sins that may take years and years of struggling and fighting before you succeed in getting rid of them. The Paradise of the Fathers, full of stories of the monks of the Egyptian desert, has many examples of monks who fought for 10, 20 years and more before they could overcome the simplest of sins, such as learning to control their tongues. So don't worry, you are in good company!

2. The second issue is Abouna's reaction. I think you're worried that Abouna might think something like, "Oh no, not again! When is this girl going to wake up to herself!" Well, here's an astounding news flash for you: Abouna is a human being too! Yes! He also struggles against sin and has to go through the same thing with HIS confession Father! So, he knows what it's like and he can never condemn you, for he would be condemning himself at the same time. Abouna is there to help you in your battle, not to judge you. The devil is just trying to scare you away from being honest with Abouna so that you don't get that help, so don't let him succeed! Abouna will guide you, give you ideas, suggestions and support in your battle against sin. The important thing is that you never give up, because you cannot lose if you never give. God is on your side. It may take a while, but God will win in the end. There's a lovely story in the Paradise of the Fathers that illustrates this:

A young monk found himself constantly attacked by worldly thoughts, to the point where he gave up and decided he wasn't meant to be a monk. He went to his confession Father and told him of his decision to return to the world. But, knowing his heart, and his sincere love for God, his confession Father encouraged him to go back and continue his battle against temptations with his prayers, readings and fast. The monk complained that he felt like a hypocrit, sinning, then praying. But his confession Father advised him; "You know when two men are setting up a fence post, they stand on opposite sides of the post and take it in turns to hit it with their heavy mallets. You are opposite the devil. Say to him, 'Every time you strike, I too will strike. If you make me fall into sin, I will just pray the harder. Let us see who will win in the end.' And come back to me whenever you find it difficult to keep going. But remember: 'Every time you strike, I will strike too, and we'll see who wins in the end!' "

The young monk went away encouraged and tried to follow this advice, but he found it so hard. Often he would return to his confession Father and complain that he couldn't go on, but his Father would remind him to say; 'Every time you strike, I will strike too, and we'll see who wins in the end!'

Around five years later, the young monk was struggling hard, praying in his cell, when the devil suddenly appeared to him, and angry scowl on his face. "I have come to tell you that I will no longer be attacking you with worldly thoughts" he said angrily, "But know this: the only reason I am stopping is because I don't want to be the cause of you winning the crown of perseverance in heaven!" And with that he vanished away. From that moment, the thoughts the young monk had thought would never stop ceased to trouble him.

So the simple answer to your question is: Go back and re-confess your sin as many times as you need to. Never give up hope. Abouna is fighting a similar battle to yours and he understands completely. He is on your side. Most importantly, God understands, and He is proud of you for not giving up. If you really love Him, keep re-confessing until He finally gives you grace to overcome.

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