On Saturday evening when the priest came, I had all my sins written on a paper. After I introduced myself, expressing my wish to confess my sins, I knelt down. Elder Simeon received me very kindly. He put on his attire and started to read the prayers in a gentle and slow voice.
When the prayers were finished, I warned him saying that he might never have heard such sins as mines and I started to say them from the list. Oh God how much courage needs a man for baring his soul in front of another one!
The moral courage, the courage of confessing all your inner infamies, of taking them out in front of everyone it is a real act of bravery. Not even the bravest of men – who are called so because they kill innocent people on the battle field – have such a courage. Confessing my sins I had the feeling that I threw out all the poison, all the poisonous snakes hidden from my childhood in my soul. At the end I took out the biggest dragon of all: that’s how I called my biggest sin.
During the entire confession I cried away. Knelt down under the epitrachelion I felt as if I were like the prodigal son, at God’s feet, returned from the pigsty, full of shame and in rags.
After confession I got up so relieved. It was as if had got rid of a millstone from my soul. And the priest with his well known gentleness and kindness, comforted me, saying that he had heard such sins before and he gave me to make only fifty prostrations which I doubled out of my zeal. I was making fifty before the Matins and fifty after them.
Archimandrite Paulin Lecca From death to life – Paideia Publishing House, 1996, p.66