Lord, I have taken a long journey which I should have taken long time ago. I have passed through tortuous and painful worlds, everything was a labyrinth. I had been there for a long time, but I couldn’t manage to get out, I have tripped many times, monsters (sufferings) have surrounded me from all around, they have drowned me in my own feelings, O, Lord, how have I entangled myself!
Yes! I was terribly haunted by Pain and Fear on my path. Both of them would whisper to me: you won’t get out of here! But I cried out to You, but what kind of an echo could my words have? For I could hear them as sufferings coming back to me constraining me in my own shroud, which had actually been my mechanism of saying to Christ: I can do without You, but that shroud squeezed me so hard that I humbled myself and cried out to You and You heard me quicker than ever! You came gently, but You haven’t unburdened me from that shroud. There were many black stains on it that needed cleaning. Those stains were keeping me away from you. But You came and saw me terribly shackled and You freed my wrists and then I cried out: Freedom! But it wasn’t like that, there were a lot of stains left! Some that I wasn’t even aware of, others that I wasn’t thinking about.
You were there with me constantly, but the suffering I hadn’t lived with You by my side have created a great labyrinth around me, which I named the labyrinth of darkness. But You, the Light of the world, came and took me from the little pain I was feeling to a greater pain? How is it that You, Who give joy, brought me more pain? It wasn’t You, Christ, that were giving me more pain, but it was the pain that I had lived without You! They were sufferings as great as monsters, but I encountered much comfort as well.
After each suffering I would receive great comfort! Who can understand this? It was something special! After living terror, pain and anger, I, the unworthy, would receive comfort! So much comfort! There have been so many sufferings, there still are! But they no longer have power over me! For You have offered me the strength to overcome them! What would I have done without You, during my painful long journey to the center of my heart; where the hell was greater, that is where I could feel You more than ever! You have given me strength to go on, in the labyrinth of my heart…
Thank You, Lord, for the labyrinth has turned into everlasting joy…!
Translated by Claudia
As we Romanians have as habit, we accept almost everything that’s “new” from outside the country, without filtering things with our own mind, and so gains roots in our country the trend to go to a psychologist, or to family planning, or somewhere else.
The doubt that makes us swing between going to a psychologist or going to a priest is powered by faith and awareness of the existence of the sin. If you have them, you incline to go to a priest; if you don’t, you will go to a psychologist, because the latter will never bother your from the convenience of making sins; the psychologist won’t make any reference to them, as they even don’t exist. And after all, isn’t it easier to sit on an armchair to a conversation than in your knees in front of the priest….?
Apparently, the priest and the psychologist have many common points, serving the same cause towards us: bringing the human soul to a state of equilibrium, harmony or counsel in life situations. In reality, I consider (without diminishing the utility of psychology as a science) that there is a huge gap between the two for several reasons.
The relationship between the priest and their spiritual son is very intimate, more intimate than someone with his best friend, and this intimacy is given by the Holy Mistery of Confession and because this relationship projects towards eternity, opposite to the relationship between the psychologist and the patient that is, after all, a commercial one… I pay to get better and it only helps until the you die, in the best case.
The relation with the my spiritual father is permanent, because of his prayer towards God for me, that protects me as an umbrella from the rains of deceiving, and for my prayers towards God for him, but with the psychologist all the interaction is resumed to the time spent in a session at his office.
The priest, through God’s grace, treats the effects but also the causes of the sufferance, the causes of the commotion, and all kind of unbalances, which come sins, while in psychology doesn’t exist the term “sin” and the treating the causes of this problems becomes relative.
The priest treats the human as the image of God, while the psychologist treats the human as biological being , as an animal. In psychology works the human but in the priest works God, because the priest is a mediator of God and from Him we receive the real treatment for getting cured, while the treatment of the psychologist is of material (medicine) and human nature. And, as a human, the psychologist can’t help himself sometimes so he can less help others.
And maybe the most overwhelming difference is that the psychologist doesn’t mediate the descent of God’s grace in order to clean all my sins and to receive power to be free of the old me.
Every time I leave my priest after confession I’m “flying like a butterfly” of joy, full of hope and spiritual relief, feeling reborn. I want to hear someone that leaves like this after at least one of ten sessions at the psychologist.
All these things that we receive from God through our priest can’t be found anywhere else, we can’t buy them, we don’t receive them on social reasons or anything else, but they are the love of the Shepherd for the lost sheep, the love of Christ toward the fallen humanity.
The Greek word for confession, exomologesis, means ‘saying out in words ‘. It can mean praise and thanksgiving to God or confession of our sins; in each case it means acknowledgement of truth.
A priest said that he would prefer a shy and confused mumbling than a fluent reading from a printed list of sins. Lists can help, but rather as a guide to self-examination. In other words, sincerity is what counts. This is not meant legalistically : ” if you are sincere then God will forgive you”. It is rather that the more sincere and deep my repentance, the deeper the healing grace of Christ can reach me. Christ said that He came precisely for the sick, and not for the righteous.
We cannot tell anyone else what to say , we can only suggest, ” tell everything you are ashamed of “, ” listen to your conscience”. Your understanding of sin and sensitivity to it will grow. Before confession we have to pray to see our sins. , to judge ourselves rather than others. And then we go and very simply say, ” I have done/said/thought…..”, taking responsibility for it. Sometimes we only manage to confess in vague terms about our general state; this acknowlegdement of our condition , our lack of love for God and other people , is useful even if we are not attentive or discerning enough to be specific about our passions.
As usual, we people, accept everything about what’s new from outside, no longer passing it through the filter of our mind and that’s how appears the new fashion of going to a psychologist, or to family planning.
I think that swinging between going to a psychologist or to a priest comes from beliving and being conscious about the existence of the sin. If we do believe that sin exists, we tend to go to the priest, if not, we go to a psychologist because he never uppsets us remainding us that we are sinfull. Unfortunately, the psychologist will not make any reference to our mistakes and our sins, pretending and acting as they do not exist. And then, isn’t it easier to sit on a chair in a quiet discussion, rather then in knees in front of the priest?
Apparently, the priest and the psychologists have many common points, they serve the same causes to us: bringing the human soul at steady state, to a state of harmony and to advise regarding different issue of life. In reality, I consider (without blaming the usefulness of psychology as a science) that is an enormous gap between those two for several reasons.
The relationship between priest and he who confesses is very intimate, more intimate then the one with the best friend, given by the great mystery of confessing, aiming eternity, while the relationship between psychologist and patient is after all a commercial one: you pay to get well. This can be helpful until you die at the best, because after death things change.
My connection with the priest is permanent (or it should be), through his prayer to me, defending me as a rain umbrella of deceit, and through my prayer in front of God for him. But with the psychologist is all about the time spent in meetings.
The priest, by the grace of God, treats the effects and causes of my suffering and of my soul disturbances, which are pulling out from the sins, while in psychology there is no sin … and treating the causes of these problems is relative.
Priest treats man like the God image built according to His likeness, but the psychologist is treating the man as an animal.
In psychology all is about advices of a man to another man, but in confessio is about our Lord who works with His energy through the priest, because the pirest is the mediator of God and we receive a real treatment to cure our problems from God Himself, but the psychologist treatment is a material one (medicamentation) and, as human, the psychologist can not help himself sometimes neither the others.
And maybe the absolute difference is that the psychologist did not intercedes the descending of Holly Gost, as to erase my sins and to receive power to become a new person, and to refresh my soul to be free.
How many times I left the priest after my confession and I was “flying like a butterfly” with joy, full of hope and relief of mind, feeling that I was born again. I want to see someone that feels the same even after ten sessions of speakign to a psychologist.
All these things that we receive from God through his priests, we cannot find them somewhere else, we can not buy them, and is not grant it on social status or anything else, these are only the love of Jesus Christ for the lost sheep.