"If you have sinned, acknowledge the sin and repent. God will forgive the sin and once again give you a new heart...and a new spirit (Ez. 36:26). There is no other way: Either do not sin, or repent." ~ St. Theophan the Recluse from The Path to Salvation: A Manual of Spiritual Transformation
I stumbled upon the above quote in one of my many searches for Orthodox Quotes to put on my Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/Orthodoxmom3 ). I post a quote or prayer there every morning - well, almost every morning...
I am always attracted to anything that speaks on forgiveness. Whether it be the human need to forgive others or God's forgiveness of us. It's a constant struggle - forgiveness. And I know that not to be true of just myself. It's a common theme among Christians and non-Christians alike. Everyone has someone who has wronged them and struggles with their feelings about that person and what he or she has done to offend them.
St. Theophan, in the quote above, addresses our own sinfulness and the need to repent for God to forgive us. All we have to do is acknowledge the sin and repent of it. Easier said than done sometimes. We, humans, are stubborn. We don't care to admit that we have been capable of hurting someone or doing something wrong in the site of God. And yet, we are human. How do any of us live a day without sinning in some form or manner? But God forgives. That's so far out of the grasp of our understanding sometimes. But, indeed, He does.
And we humans are called to do the same. FORGIVE.
It matters not what the person has done, whether it was voluntary or involuntary. Whether it was by word or by deed. Whether it was in knowledge or of ignorance. We are called to FORGIVE and to repent of our own sins and ask Him for FORGIVENESS.
Orthodox Prayer Before Communion
I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I believe also that this is truly Thine own pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance. And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins, and unto life everlasting. Amen.
Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord in Thy Kingdom.
May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, O Lord, but to the healing of soul and body. Amen.