He who hopes, will be harmed if he recalls all his sins, one by one.
The sorrow which will come with their remembrance, will drive away hope; if, again, he remembers his sins without feeling any sorrow, it is as though he is repeating them.
When your nous forsakes itself, and succeeds in clinging exclusively to hope, then the enemy — under the pretext of confession — will remind it of past sins, so that it might awaken passions which the person had forgotten ( through God’s grace), and in this sly fashion, harm him. Because even a strong person, or one who is averse to passions, will become distressed with the things he has done, and his conscience will inevitably be clouded.
The one who still lives in the fog, and is still perceptive to sensuality, will relive the same passions, in such a way, that the remembrance of past sins will prove to be a contamination, and not a confession.
A prudent man who is aware of the truth does not confess to God by numbering the sins he has committed, but by patiently accepting the painful consequences of those sins.
—St Abba Mark the Ascetik