The Shepherd, February 2009
FROM THE FATHERS
“NOW is the appointed time in which you must confess your sins to God, and to the priest, and by prayer and fasting, by tears and almsgiving, wipe them away. Why should the sinner be ashamed to make known his sins, since they are already known and manifest to God, and to His Angels, and even to the blessed in heaven? Confession delivers the soul from death. Confession opens the door to heaven. Confession brings us hope of salvation. Because of this Scripture says: First tell thy iniquities, that thou mayest be justified” (Es. 43:26).
Saint Ambrose of Milan, + 397 A.D.
"IF THE SERPENT, the devil, bites someone secretly, he infects that person with the venom of sin. And if the one who has been bitten keeps silence and does not repent, and does not want to confess his wound to his brother and to his master, then his brother and his master, who have the word that will cure him, cannot very well assist him. For if the sick man is ashamed to confess his wound to the physician, medicine will not cure that to which it is not applied."
Blessed Jerome, + 419 A.D.
"AS HEN'S EGGS that are warmed in dung hatch out, so thoughts that are not confessed hatch out and proceed to action."
Venerable John of the Ladder, seventh century
“IT OFTEN happens that someone preparing for Communion, who has come to confession before the Cross and Gospel, robs himself spiritually, depriving himself of true repentance. In place of that true, sincere repentance that earns him the infinite mercy of the Lord, he starts to the justify himself. In mentioning some sin, he will unfailingly make up some mitigating excuse, trying to justify himself. And, unfortunately this very often happens. But those holy people who pleased God teach us: Do not justify yourself, because then you will not receive justification from the Lord.”
Saint Philaret the New Confessor of New York, + 1985 A.D.