We continued our reading of Hypothesis I of the Evergetinos regarding “Repentance and the Avoidance of Despair.”We are presented with one story after another of someone who finds himself or herself in grave sin; sometimes struggling year after year and yet returning to God with a repentant heart.
Monk Paul, who compiled the text, begins by giving us stories that at first are a reflection upon the nature of repentance itself; from the perspective of those who receive mercy in order to foster confidence in God.But there’s a gradual and extraordinary progression that takes place in the stories themselves. They take us deeper and deeper into the very heart of God who is set upon the salvation of all and who looks for the smallest movement of repentance in the human heart in order to draw a person back to Him.
We tend to look upon ourselves and our own sin and the sins of others through the lens of our own intellect and judgment or our malformed consciences. Ultimately the fathers tell us it is only when we begin to look at the mercy of God in light of the Cross andthe precious blood of Christ that was shed on our behalf that we begin to understand. God’s generosity cannot be called into question. Rather, we must humbly allow ourselves to be drawn into the mystery. We must allow God to show us the nature of love and receive it ourselves before we can truly show it to others. May God bless it and make it so!
Text of chat during group:
00:15:41 Joseph Muir: please pray for my friend Lilly in Toronto, who joined us for the past two meetings. She is dealing with some pretty severe health issue (not Covid-related), and isn’t able to join us tonight, unfortunately
00:16:33 Katharine M: Prayers for Lilly
00:19:01 Eric Williams: I was taught “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”
00:57:27 Eric Williams: The penitent who sins every day and repents every day reminds me of St. Mark Ji Tianxiang, who was an opium addict who didn’t receive the Eucharist for the last 30 years of his life and died a martyr.
01:17:08 Erick Chastain: strangely enough it was a favorite feast day of Pope John XXIII who convened the 2nd Vatican council
01:28:25 Sharon: I realize we need to wrap up, but the themes of toleration and boundaries keep coming up within my circle. The devil uses the word “tolerate” instead of “love.” And more and more people are encouraged to create boundaries. I just wonder how we can be truly seeking conversion of heart and unity with God if we are spending our time and energy just tolerating people and building boundaries.
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean or
To leave or reply to comments, please download free Podbean App.