On the Fathers of the Skete and words on discernment that are filled with many benefits.
Abba Germanos said: “The fact that it is usually a pretense for our shame and the cause for harmful piety, that certain Fathers had often confessed brethren of ours and not only did not benefit them, but even accused them and led them into despair, as in the case that we too had witnessed with our own eyes in Syria:
A brother had confessed to one of those Elders there; with every simplicity and honesty he boldly bared the innermost depths of his heart. He had barely completed his confession and the Elder became very indignant and angry with that brother, berating him for his ugly thoughts. This incident became known, and many people thereafter were too ashamed to confess to Elders.”
Abba Moses said: “As I also mentioned earlier, it is good for us to reveal our thoughts to Fathers, but not to just any one of them, at random. We should confess to spiritual Elders who have the gift of discernment and not to those who have simply turned white with age; because many brethren who had focused on age only became deluded, and when they confessed, instead of finding their health they reached the point of despair on account of the Elder’s lack of experience.”
—By St. John Cassian the Roman