Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Guidance to the Repentant

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Guidance to the Repentant

Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Translated by Seraphim Larin

The Tragedy of Sin


While people complain of their various sorrows, it must be remembered that they are not our main misfortunes. The foremost evil are our Sins! Indeed, while sin destroys a person permanently, sorrows and misfortunes accepted as God's will bring spiritual salvation. Our sins are chains and bonds that enslave and drag us down into the netherworld, and unless we free ourselves from them, we will be unable to inherit life eternal.

Just like physical afflictions, sins are distinguished by the magnitude of their evil and destructiveness.

Mortal sins are gross violations of the Laws that impact upon the soul in the most destructive manner, denying it communion with God. These deathly sins include: Godlessness, engage in occult teachings (Hinduism, Theosophy etc..), deviation from the true Faith, mocking sacred things, blasphemy, sorcery, spiritism, murder, adultery, robbery, debauchery, calumny, perjury. Having committed a mortal sin and fallen away from God, the individual succumbs to the influence of evil spirits, who lead him still further into greater sins. Unless that person realizes his sorry plight and turns to God for help, his soul will be damned forever.


Christianity in general and preparation for the Sacraments specifically, release us from degradation of sin and assist us to become righteous and blessed children of God. Confession and Holy Communion serve as very effective modes toward achieving this, especially when the person approaches them with the necessary preparation and zealousness. The whole time (consisting of penance at home, prayer, spiritual thoughts, fasting and confession in church) spent before partaking of the Sacraments is called the Preparatory period.

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