Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 21

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: St. Maximos the Confessor | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Four Hundred Texts on Love (Third Century) 21

63. Confession takes two forms. According to the one, we give thanks for blessings received; according to the other, we bring to light and examine what we have done wrong. We use the term confession both for the grateful appreciation of the blessings we have received through divine favor, and for the admission of the evil actions of which we are guilty. Both forms produce humility. For he who thanks God for blessings and he who examines himself for his offenses are both humbled. The first judges himself unworthy of what he has been given; the second implores forgiveness for his sins.

Until I read this text by St. Maximos I had only thought of confession in the latter form he describes. It makes perfect sense that giving thanks for blessings received is a form of confession. We acknowledge that all good things come from God and we humble ourselves just as we do when we confess wrongs we have committed. It’s all too easy to convince ourselves that we have earned whatever blessings we have received and that can be a fatal trap.


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