Such beauty! Not only were tonight‘s passages from the Evergetinos memorable - one is compelled to memorize them due to their profundity. They speak to us of the sweetness and the joy that comes to us through repentance and that God desires to give to us. At every turn we are encouraged to be confident and not to be duped by the temptations of the Evil One to ruminate on past sins or to doubt for a moment the God desire to forgive.
We are to be fearless in the face of our own sins and the thoughts from which they arise. To acknowledge them openly is to make them powerless and without weight. To bring them before God and the light of His love is to bring ourselves healing and hope. Immediately, like the father in the story of the prodigal son, God desires to robe us with innocence and restore to us the promise of adoption which the Holy Spirit bestows upon us. God desires to make us partakers of eternal life. In fact, repentance is to be seen as a rebirth from holy mother church who will supply us with nourishment and bring us to a mature faith. With tenderness we are embraced by God who draws us to the maternal breast. As Father he does not desire to punish but rather understands our weakness and likewise seeks to carries us and support us until we are capable of understanding the Evil One’s ways and fighting against them fully.
If we know sorrow because of our sin it should always be paired with the joy; the joy that comes from turning toward God and being restored to that relationship. Despair is the great enemy and we should not wait a moment to return to God.
Text of chat during the group:
00:48:42 Eric Williams: We’re shy about sharing all our thoughts with a wide elder or confessor, but we broadcast them loudly and proudly on social media.
00:49:37 Mary Schott: Lol, true that.
01:05:11 Eric Williams: Just go up to the pulpit and stare ominously in silence. After an uncomfortable period, announce, “Thus ends the lesson” and step down. ;)
01:23:02 D Fraley: Thank you Father.