Confession question


#1

Hi I was thinking and the eastern Catholics / orthodox see the Mystery of confession and repentance has more to do with the spiritual development of the individual and much less to do with purification. Sin is not seen as a stain on the soul, but rather a mistake that needs correction. Wouldn't that make more sense ? Why is gd not the case , why is it a stain on the soul etc ?

Thanks chuck


#2

As a Catholic I never thought of sin as a "stain on my soul", but something that keeps me from being closer to the Lord.


#3

[quote="Dorothy, post:2, topic:294702"]
As a Catholic I never thought of sin as a "stain on my soul", but something that keeps me from being closer to the Lord.

[/quote]

I've thought of it as a "stain on my soul". There is no douibt however that frequent confession is a signficant factor in spiritual development.


#4

We are all created in God's image. Each time we sin, we, ourselves, separate ourselves from that Perfection by degrees. Confession is a healing action, a way of mending those wounds and coming back to the path that will bring us again to that perfect imitation of our creation.


#5

[quote="TheDoors, post:4, topic:294702"]
We are all created in God's image. Each time we sin, we, ourselves, separate ourselves from that Perfection by degrees. Confession is a healing action, a way of mending those wounds and coming back to the path that will bring us again to that perfect imitation of our creation.

[/quote]

I agree with this... I see the stain as seperation from God... the more we sin the further from God we are... Confession is a purifcation and more... This is only my opinion but I feel that my soul desires to be close to God... and when I sin... I feel pulled down... heavy... Confession lifts that and my soul from the weight of sin and I actually feel lighter and in many cases joyful :) I could not live without confession... it always brings me back and I thank God for it :)


#6

It's a stain on your soul because when you die you only have your soul. Also it's a stain because you need to go to Purgatory when you die to get rid of this stain. You can only enter Heaven if you don't have any sin. That's why there is a Purgatory. Unless you have mortal sin. Then your soul is stained for good and you descend into Hell for eternity. Therefore it's a stain because your soul goes to Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. Hopes this helps people and makes sense. If you have any questions send me a message I will gladly clear things up.

  • Vjnycguy

#7

This is a development of the legalistic approach of the West. Sins are offenses against God and to remove an offense one must to penance as a payment for the debt of the sin committed. The stain on the soul is like a polic record that can be wiped clean by pardon from God.

The goal of Western Christianity is purification. One that is pure is worthy of God.

In the East, the goal is Theosis, to be partakers of the Divine life of God. We need to do as God and act as God. Past since do not have bearing if we are able to achieve that state of being of one mind with God. If for example you are lustful, you need to be unlustful. If I confess my sins of lust by my mind is still oriented towards being lustful, then the moment I see an attractive woman I will sin again. From the Easter theological point of view, it is not enough that you do not perform an act of sin, it is important that there is a transformation ontologically that you will act as God acts.


#8

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:7, topic:294702"]
From the Easter theological point of view, it is not enough that you do not perform an act of sin, it is important that there is a transformation ontologically that you will act as God acts.

[/quote]

This is not an Eastern concept.

I think it is important to note that in both the East and West, not everyone is an expert on spirituality. Most people are living their lives simply, just trying to do God's will.

But for those who are into mysticism, you will not find that much of a difference in East vs. West when it comes to union with God - acting as God acts..


#9

[quote="TrueLight, post:8, topic:294702"]
This is not an Eastern concept.

I think it is important to note that in both the East and West, not everyone is an expert on spirituality. Most people are living their lives simply, just trying to do God's will.

But for those who are into mysticism, you will not find that much of a difference in East vs. West when it comes to union with God - acting as God acts..

[/quote]

All are called to be monastics in one way or another in Eastern theology. Monasticism in the East isn't exclusive to "Religious Orders".

And who says that acting as God does cannot be applied to our everyday lives? It can, and it is what we are called to do. That is why hesychasm calls for making our lives the prayer to God, that we pray in everyday we do. You don't have to be a monk in a cave in the middle of a desert. You can pray while you do your everyday work, while cleaning the house, while coding in Java, while writing a business document, while communiting on the bus, while taking a shower, etc.


#10

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:9, topic:294702"]
All are called to be monastics in one way or another in Eastern theology. Monasticism in the East isn't exclusive to "Religious Orders".

And who says that acting as God does cannot be applied to our everyday lives? It can, and it is what we are called to do. That is why hesychasm calls for making our lives the prayer to God, that we pray in everyday we do. You don't have to be a monk in a cave in the middle of a desert. You can pray while you do your everyday work, while cleaning the house, while coding in Java, while writing a business document, while communiting on the bus, while taking a shower, etc.

[/quote]

I didn't say anything about Religious Orders. Neither did I say you have to be a monk.

What I am pointing out is that things are not so black and white, East vs West all the time.

You talk to your average person in the pew and you will find some who are deeply into spiritual things and some who are not.

I disagree with your previous example, that in the West lust just means you don't do something and that you are not attempting to change, to be more like God.


#11

[quote="TrueLight, post:10, topic:294702"]
I didn't say anything about Religious Orders. Neither did I say you have to be a monk.

What I am pointing out is that things are not so black and white, East vs West all the time.

You talk to your average person in the pew and you will find some who are deeply into spiritual things and some who are not.

I disagree with your previous example, that in the West lust just means you don't do something and that you are not attempting to change, to be more like God.

[/quote]

But in the West, as long as you don't sin then you are pure. And what is sin? Commiting an offense. In the East sin is a disease. When you are sick, you are sick regardless of what you do. What you need to do is get better, remove the cause of sickness. And that is accomplished by prayer, fasting and the Sacraments.


#12

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:11, topic:294702"]
But in the West, as long as you don't sin then you are pure. And what is sin? Commiting an offense. In the East sin is a disease. When you are sick, you are sick regardless of what you do. What you need to do is get better, remove the cause of sickness. And that is accomplished by prayer, fasting and the Sacraments.

[/quote]

And in the West how do you stop committing the same sin over and over again (how do you remove the sickness)?

Praying, fasting and the sacraments.

Okay, maybe not so much emphasis on fasting for some folks, but I know a lot of people who fast for diverse reasons.

Do you see the similarities?


#13

I want to revise what I said somewhat. Fasting as a means Of spiritual change is a big part of Western tradition although it may not be emphasized so much in these modern days by SOME.


#14

[quote="Chuck1, post:1, topic:294702"]
Hi I was thinking and the eastern Catholics / orthodox see the Mystery of confession and repentance has more to do with the spiritual development of the individual and much less to do with purification. Sin is not seen as a stain on the soul, but rather a mistake that needs correction. Wouldn't that make more sense ? Why is gd not the case , why is it a stain on the soul etc ?

Thanks chuck

[/quote]

Chuck as to the "stain on the soul" question, I remember reading if I'm not mistaken that according to the Eastern viewpoint, all sin, mortal or venial affects your relationship with God. Could that be seen as a "stain"?


#15

Very interesting. I think that you are both saying the same thing from a different view point. Which is expected from a Roman Rite and an Orthodox. ;)

Please keep it up! I love seeing civil discussion!


#16

[quote="TheDoors, post:15, topic:294702"]
Very interesting. I think that you are both saying the same thing from a different view point. Which is expected from a Roman Rite and an Orthodox. ;)

[/quote]

I think so. After all, we come from the same place. The theologies cannot be completely alien to each other.


#17

[quote="TrueLight, post:12, topic:294702"]
And in the West how do you stop committing the same sin over and over again (how do you remove the sickness)?

Praying, fasting and the sacraments.

Okay, maybe not so much emphasis on fasting for some folks, but I know a lot of people who fast for diverse reasons.

Do you see the similarities?

[/quote]

Similarities doesn't mean they are the same. Don't forget Protestants do fast as well and some would have the Sacraments even though they are not actual Sacraments.

Of course in the West the objective is not only to gain forgiveness of the offenses made, but also have the resolve not to commit them again. But the emphasis is more on the state of grace rather than any ontological change on the person. For example, and correct me please if I am wrong, that the belief is that if you go to confession and you are absolved of all your sins, if you got struck by lightning just as you are leaving the confessional and you died right there and then, you are likely to go to heaven because you have no sins.

In the East, while confession would also have the same effect of gaining forgiveness for your sins, it has not guaranteed anything if you were to die right there and then. You could still be a sinner at heart and that could still prevent you from accepting God fully. But then also there are differences in concept of the experience in heaven between East and West. In the East you may still receive eternal bliss even though it won't be as full as those who have achieved a higher level of change in their being. I believe in the West it is either you are in heaven or you are not. Those who are not fully condemned would still undergo purification in purgatory but the end result is purity like all the other saints.

[quote="TheDoors, post:15, topic:294702"]
Very interesting. I think that you are both saying the same thing from a different view point. Which is expected from a Roman Rite and an Orthodox. ;)

Please keep it up! I love seeing civil discussion!

[/quote]

I used to believe in that and there are thsoe who will say that East and West are just looking at the same thing from two different view points. But the more I learn about Eastern theology, the harder it is for me to reconcile it with Western theology. One of a Protestant faith is closer to Catholic theology than a Catholic is to Orthodox, regarldess of the view of true Apostolic succession and tradition.


#18

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:17, topic:294702"]

For example, and correct me please if I am wrong, that the belief is that if you go to confession and you are absolved of all your sins, if you got struck by lightning just as you are leaving the confessional and you died right there and then, you are likely to go to heaven because you have no sins.

[/quote]

I think purgatory is still on the table.

You bring up an interesting point. I'd like to hear what some other Catholics have to say in regards to the idea that salvation in this situation depends on the status of no mortal sin on the soul at the time of death , as opposed to whether the person has a general sinful mindset.

In the East, while confession would also have the same effect of gaining forgiveness for your sins, it has not guaranteed anything if you were to die right there and then. You could still be a sinner at heart and that could still prevent you from accepting God fully. But then also there are differences in concept of the experience in heaven between East and West. In the East you may still receive eternal bliss even though it won't be as full as those who have achieved a higher level of change in their being. I believe in the West it is either you are in heaven or you are not. Those who are not fully condemned would still undergo purification in purgatory but the end result is purity like all the other saints.

This is interesting. There are those that say that Western Catholicism is closer to Protestants, but I think it is the opposite. What you posted above is very similar to the protestantism I have personally known.


#19

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