This evening we concluded Hypothesis III on “how a person should repent”.The elders begin by emphasizing sorrow in the spiritual life. This is not a sorrow that leads a person into depression or despondency. It is not rooted in shame but rather in the acknowledgment of the impact of our sin on the relationship that we have with God and also how we have treated the grace and mercy that he has shown us. Sorrow, therefore, is to be carried along in the spiritual life as a bridle for the soul which will keep us from falling into sin once again. Granted, this is a very difficult thing for us to understand and embrace. We do everything in our power to alleviate the sorrow tied to sin or to escape it. But in regards to anything that afflicts or affects us on a spiritual level, it becomes the most powerful remedy. Each story this night tells us that we are to care for our passions with medicines that are at odds with them. We must consciously struggle to blot out recollections of the sins we have enjoyed with the corresponding hardships that they have brought.
Yet, in all of this the elders emphasize a kind of freedom in the embrace of a specific practice of penance. Each person is unique and God Who alone searches the depths of the mind and the heart can guide the individual along the path of true healing. There are many paths to this healing and as many remedies as there are human beings. Each person is a mystery, a mystery that only God can grasp. Therefore, our wounds can only be healed by more radically open the mind and the heart to His grace. The ascetical life simply serves as an aid in doing this.
Until next week dear friends . . .
Text of chat during the group:
00:23:19 Daniel Allen: What page and number are we on?
00:23:28 renwitter: PAge 32
00:23:31 renwitter: #4
00:23:37 Daniel Allen: Thank you
00:46:19 Lilly Crystal: Very well said, Father :)
00:56:28 Lilly Crystal: What prayer was that?
00:57:17 Tyler Woloshyn: 6th Prayer Before Holy Communion by St Symeon the New Theologian
01:13:18 Tyler Woloshyn: Have a blessed time folks. Off to Moleben (prayer service) to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
01:15:59 Eric Williams: Their repentance had equal merit, but one of them was a lot happier. I’m a fan of the happy one. ;)
01:19:10 Lilly Crystal: Please keep my Canadian friend, Bill, in your prayers. He’s in the hospital attached to oxygen as of 2 days
01:30:05 Lilly Crystal: There’s never too many books, Father. Just not enough time :)
01:35:00 Nicole’s iPhone: Thank you!
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