During confession a young man asked his spiritual father:
`Father, I feel my soul is burdened by sins. How can I be again in peace, when I know I wronged?
`Son, the man must never lose his hope. Even if we sinned, God will forgive our mistakes but with a condition: to repent. To repent sincerely from the bottom of our soul. I`ll give you an example. Outside is a freezing winter, the frost is terrible. Go and bring me an icicle.
When the young man came back keeping the icicle in his hand, the priest took it and threw it into the stove, where the icicle started to melt immediately.
Did you see the ice you brought from outside? It was like that from the beginning of winter and it would have remained the same no matter how long it had stayed in the frost. But if you brought it inside you see how it started to melt? It became again a pure and useful water. When it was frozen it was good of nothing.
It is the same with the soul when it freezes from so many sins. But if you repent sincerely, the warmth of your prayer and the grace of God melt everything is bad and bring you life and peace in your soul.
Look at the trees from outside, the priest said again. They are frozen from frost but in spring the sun will warm them and they will get back to life again.
In the same way you should have patience and trust in the kindness and mercy of God and repent from the bottom of your soul because as the warmth of the fire melts the ice, the sincere repentance heals the soul which is sick because of sins.
`The confession of the evil deeds is the beginning of the good deeds.`
Excerpt from The most beautiful Orthodox parables and stories – author Leon Magdan, Aramis Publishing– Romanian Patriarchy, 1998.