In regards of the Mystery of Confession, the Church gives the following definition: who conceals their sins at confession, those not only receive no forgiveness, but double their sins instead.
“If you conceal anything from me”, says the priest before the confession, “you shall have the greater sin”.
You would think that such a fearsome definition of the church should have moved all the Christians to be sincere at confession, and approach this Sacrament not like a Pharisees, but like a penitent thief. However we still often see that some, because of false shame, others, because of little faith, third, because of devil’s influence, – in other words, many do not stop to conceal their sins and therefore, leave confession without feeling of peace in their consciousness, without Divine remittance of sins. How to move those to sincerity? How to take away their false shame, little faith and pride? How to make them truly repent? Let us remember the below words of St.John Chrysostom. Grant, o Lord, that those, who conceal their sins at confession, realize how wrong they are and change their ways.
This is what the great Orthodox teacher says:
“Confess your sins, for by confession the wounds of soul are getting healed. Just like a bodily wound can not be healed by our doctor, unless we tell him where the pain is, – the wound, that is concealed, causes more and more harm to a man, and death at the end. Same with sins, concealed at confession, bring death to the soul and body and joy to the devil. Wholehearted confession of sins is a great good, but concealing of sins is a true joy for Satan. He makes both simple man and lawyer to conceal their sins, by saying that they can confess their sins directly to God. But you, Christian, do not accept this devil thought and hurry to confess your sins to receive forgiveness both in this life and future.”
So, do you hear what St.John is saying? He is saying that everyone, who conceals his sins at confession, brings death to both his body and soul, that he pleases Satan by this, and that, at last, it is the same Satan, who teaches them to conceal their sins. So? Would you still continue lying to God at confession? Think about, whose will you will be doing? Who will you be bringing the joy to? And where to, at last, will you be preparing your souls? You will be doing the will of the worst enemy-Satan, bringing joy to him, and preparing your souls to the abyss of hell. Isn’t is horrifying? This is truly so, brethren. Therefore, be afraid to conceal your sins, open your spiritual wounds at confession without hiding anything, and confess your sins exactly how you feel them in your soul. See yourself, at confession, as if standing before the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who is invisibly receiving your confession, and, at last, do not be ashamed at all, neither be afraid to open anything before your spiritual father. Then, if you so confess your sins, truthful and righteous is the Lord, Who will remit your sins and cleanse your soul. Amen.