Monday, September 24, 2007

Christ is in our Midst LV(letter 84)

" 84

21 July 1954

You write that you have read in the holy Fathers about a disciple who told his staretz that some people are granted to see the holy angels. The staretz replied: 'Blessed are those who constantly see their sins'.

St Peter Damascene writes: 'If you see your sins as sands of the sea, it is a sign of a healthy soul'. You write: 'I cannot understand how saints can see their sins as sands of the sea'. This represents the high degree of spiritual maturity of the men of God, those who with God's help have cleansed their hearts of passions: pride, conceit, slyness, hypocrisy and other vices. However, even they were not free from impacts and suggestions from passions. For as long as the soul is in the body it cannot possibly be freed from these impacts, whether it wants them or not. But when they have overcome the passions within them through virtues, their minds can repel these attacks with God's help. God alone is perfect and unchanging.

Although the Holy Fathers by God's mercy prospered in the spiritual life, they were subject to changes. Sin continued to use cunning; they even had impure and bestial thoughts. Do not be surprised at this, it is so. I am not writing this as my own wisdom; these are the thoughts of men of godly wisdom. These changes in their pure hearts make them see their sins 'as the sands of the sea', and they genuinely regard themselves as worse than anyone else.

We sinners in our careless way of living sometimes say that we are sinful and even that there is none in all the world like our self. But this is only idle talk and mere words. If we were speaking from the feelings of our heart, we would not have been condemning others for anything, nor been proud, angry, and so on. We ourselves do not keep a single commandment, but we expect others to do so. Oh, the blindness of our hearts!
Lord, grant that I may see my sins and not judge my brother.

No doubt you have now understood the deep thoughts of the holy men of God. I ask your holy prayers. "


In our Holy Faith we are told that to see one's own sins is a greater miracle than the raising of the dead. Along these lines we are told the experience of those who are esteemed most holy by those of us who admire their God manifesting lives.
These men and women, often in many of the accounts I have read of their lives, invariably speak of the distance between themselves and the Lord seemingly increasing as the purification of the passions takes place. Through this process of the purification it would seem that only now, here in the crucible of the laboratory of their own souls, do they finally begin to glimpse their true inner state.
What is discovered? The horror of a life spent upon one's own lusts and fancies, the misuse of all their talents for selfish ends and further the abuse of any and all around themselves who they have foolishly tried to make orbit around their own petty, little selves.

As they get closer to God it becomes apparent how far from Him they really are. Prior to this purification and more truly seeing themselves, in delusion their self judgement was much more lenient as to their actual state.

Now I wish to briefly contrast this condition of these holy ones with what we are told in our day about how one ought to view oneself.
Of course not as a sinner.

To Whom or what is one liable to anyhow except to one's own happiness, huh? And success cannot in anyway be connected to a downward climb on the ladder rather than an upward, no?

This is utter blasphemy to our modern ears.

To be the servant of ALL?

"C'mon, folks, this is the 21st century and that Jesus character is terribly passe anyhow. People were so ignorant then and did not understand that Man[did I say Man? I meant Bi-Pod, sorry :)] is not created but evolving and ever progressing upwards to a destiny undreamed of and to claim this rightful destiny once and for all needs to break free from the fetters imposed on it(re:Man or better yet Bi-Pod) by all that crappy and constraining religious stuff.

Become enlightened. A New Age is dawning, people. Jesus is WAY too exclusive to be of any use to this New Man(or Bi-Pod). If Jesus is to be used in any way, He must be re-packaged and shipped in a sugar coating or He should as much as possible be made to be some enlightened master/guru on the par with the enlightened masters/gurus to be found in any culture in any time.

Son of God!! What a joke, what a travesty foisted upon primitive undeveloped myth-believing man by those wicked Christians. In fact, away with all of them! Away with these deceivers!

You, my dear ones are good. You are not bad. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
'Sins as sands of the sea.'

Get a grip."

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