Has anyone ever lived a hedonistic, sinful life where Self was on the throne and then made the about face, repenting, turning towards Life? Has anyone who has been repenting ever regret the new life, with its sometimes austerity, deprivations and pine for the old life, relishing its lusts, its memories, its wantonness? Has anyone been at those moments, having decided to believe on Him, placing faith in Him, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, having tasted of the Lord, that He is good, the Lover of mankind, and still desire Egypt? Has anyone desired Egypt, knowing what awaits those who have an evil heart of unbelief who depart from the living God, that if sin is willfully committed after having received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin remains?
Such a day I had.
Having undertaken to be counted among His disciples, by necessity much of my old life with all of its desires, aspirations, and thoughts has to be crucified that I may decrease and He increase. I must continually be made weak that He may be strong in me. There is just one problem: I don't like this. I like my former self. Had I not begun to realize the futility of this life, I would still be living it. I did not realize it though through some inherent, internal capacity to do so, but the weight of circumstances pressed upon me, bringing me to my knees, where there was no other choice.
In the midst of this new life, hidden pockets of joy are unveiled by our Lord, buttressing my flagging spirit. Because being being transformed the metamorphosis is not yet complete, the new man is not always comfortable to wear, the old man is familiar, he's snug, he fits me just right, for after all, I made him.
This new man has been created in Christ, according to His will. He cannot be put on by the force of our Lord, for He never imposes Himself on me. I must put Him on. I must be willing to die. It cannot be done for me. Here is freedom. Here is choice. Can't anyone else do this for me? Someone? I don't want freedom. I don't want choice.
The way ahead is dark, because I hold no light. I am told He is the Light. Traveling through this world of shadows, I am told He is the Way. Him, not some static, exterior to myself system that will encourage my Ego, "There, there, every thing's going to be all right, you're doing just fine." To tell the truth, I'm not doing just fine, I'm not so swell after all. I cannot see Him, I can only"see" Him, not directly, but with the eyes of my soul, but I don't know how to use these eyes that well yet, they are untrained and they are restrained in favor of the old man living his life, refusing to come to the Cross to be crucified.
So on this day of Great and Holy Lent, it's third Tuesday in 2007, a day of fasting from foods for the body and lusts for the senses and the mind, I write these things, just to air out these thoughts, hoping once again upon Him, for hope in me is dwindling.
The Last Pascha of Elder Paisios in 1994 - By Archimandrite Arsenios Katerelou Now, with regards to Elder Paisios, when I was at the Theological School, particularly in 1993-1994, I would often go t...
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