The charismatic confessor loves the soul and feels pain for him, because he knows his great value.

He helps in his repentance, he relieves him through confession, he frees him of anxiety and guides him towards heaven.

The confessor is called father and for this reason he has to endeavour to be a true father; to rebuke with divine love and affection

To put himself in the shoes of those who confess to him and live their pain, so that the person who confesses may see on the face of his confessor his own pain. This is needed especially in our days when the people need some fresh water, not hard vinegar.

The most because they receive demonic influences they hardly receive a spiritual advice or a reproof. That is why the rebuke must be made lovingly and when showing a mistake should make it discretely, smiling or by means of a joke.

Love offers an inner acknowledgement while the irrational spiritual passions betray the man. When there is no love, the rebuke may be made in a pleasant way but the other one would oppose because he feels the human element in our behavior. While if the reprimand is made with pain and love the other one may get upset but deep down he is not hurt, because he feels that love.

I know a confessor who is fat, of course his physical structure is that way, but it might be also possible that he doesn`t pay attention to the way he eats, but you know how much he cares for the pained? He has humbleness because he says he does practice any asceticism but in the same time he has a great kindness and many people find more rest in him than in an ascetic confessor.

A confessor who is not ready to go even in hell for the love of his spiritual sons, is not a real confessor.

Excerpt from Spiritual Struggle – Pious Paisios the Athonite,  Evanghelismos Publishing

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