Unlike in Catholicism, in Eastern Orthodoxy the Virgin Mary is venerated solely because she is Christ’s mother “according to the flesh.” Only certain clergy can hear confession, after which a prayer of absolution. A traditional practice of Eastern Orthodoxy is to have a spiritual guide to whom a person confesses. Each sin is dealt with on an individual basis and the guide knows how and when to apply strictness in dealing with sin and when to administer mercy. After death, members of the Orthodox church believe a person enters the presence of God. Depending on a person’s conduct on earth and their spiritual state they will experience being in God’s presence as either peace and joy or as shame and anguish.