In this video, Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou (Greece) recounts his personal encounter with Saint Porphyrios during a general confession. For half an hour, Saint Porphyrios “was going from one basement to another basement of my soul and witnessed all my personal messes, hereditary or acquired .” The term “general confession” refers to going to confession and individually confessing all the sins of one’s past life.
Video source: Kykkos Monastery, Cyprus, March 19, 2014
Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou:
He insisted much on the holy mystery of confession. He was saying something really important to which we did not pay attention as we did not know it. Listen to what he said:
“Man is not the only responsible for his falls and his sins. Every man has acquired inside him the experiences of his/her parents. Especially, his/her mother. Then, inside the soul of man a condition is created because of his/her parents that he/she bears with him/her for the rest of his/her life. This condition leaves traces inside him/her. But there is a secret. There is a way for man to get rid of this evil. If his/her parents lived something negative, he/she does not have to bear them for the rest of his/her life.
This way is the ‘general confession’ that takes place with the grace of God.
A lot of times, he used to say, I have used this general confession and I have witnessed miracles with her. At the time, you are confessing, the Holy Grace visits you and relieves you of all the evil experiences, spiritual wounds and guilts. Because while you are confessing them, the confessor wishes warmly to the Lord for your absolution.
He was telling me. The prayer (“euxi”) of all priests works, even the one that comes from the most sinful ones. But, if you really want to heal your soul and the roots of sin which are sometimes attributed to some kind of heredity, you have to find a spiritual father that prays.
Of what great importance is the prayer of the spiritual father during the mystery of holy confession? For this, if the man does not unite with God through the mystery of holy confession, all the more complications will happen to his soul.
At this point, I will refer in short to a personal experience with St. Porphyrios. Once I visited him and I tell him: “Elder, they tell me that I should also become a priest, instead of just being a monk. But I am weak with my hands. How am I going to become a priest? I also have other problems. For example, I am angered easily… I don’t have the best heredity around…”
“As soon as I said the key-word “heredity”… He catches my hand from the palm … at the point where we take the pulse… and says:
“Let’s see… this is not the only thing you have…”
I tell him: “What else do I have?”
I confess that for half an hour he was going from one basement to another basement of my soul and witnessed all my personal messes, hereditary or acquired. After he performed this “holy psychoanalysis”, he told me:
“This is who you are and do not look here and there… you are not more but not less either… With these you will fight until you die… and thank you for tolerating me and I could see what you inherited and what you have… and now that you will leave do not say to people that “I am fragrant”.
“Why did he say that? This half hour we visited the basements of my soul; his cell was filled with fragrance… such fragrance… I was feeling it was coming from the top [of his cell]…
See what kind of a humble man! The whole room was filled with fragrances as if I was in a perfumery. He tells me:
“I have relics of some Saints with me and every time a ‘clean confession’ occurs, a ‘general confession’, they become happy. And when the relics become happy, they exhale fragrance.”
Listen to what a beautiful interpretation he gave!
“But I am also happy, my son, because you had the courage to descend with me into the Hades of your soul!”