Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Little By Little

I forget where I heard Fredrica Matthewes-Green
talk about this before...
but in her most recent podcast she hits on it early on:
how our culture atomizes us,
encourages us to 'be a rebel', a 'true individual'
which only really speaks of greater loneliness
and isolation.
Little by little I am fitting pieces of what really goes on
in our world,
that no one (at least not the advertisers of the world)
wants to admit -
having one's own way,
being the rebel,
is incredibly harmful.
One of the gifts of the Orthodox church is a very simple one:
the Unity of the Saints.
The glorious beautiful shining of icons in our churches,
all together;
in a spiritual harmony that goes beyond the brokenness
of our world,
and the brokenness of the passions and how they separate
us from each other.
Fr. Thomas Hopko's book, Lenten Spring,
I am enjoying in part because he puts things so plainly;
his writings on self-love I find helpful and am
still pondering...
"To love oneself sinfully, and as the cause of all sin,
is to live exclusively for oneself, to follow one's
own thoughts and ideas, to peruse one's own purposes and aims."
I must beware of anything or anyone telling me
that I myself can change the world,
change myself,
set my own course or goals;
this can be more about self-love than about
service to Christ.
Beautifully and so refreshing is the explanation of repentance
as the source of hope and light, the opposite of despair:
Fr. Thomas Hopko quotes St. John Climacus:
"Repentance is the renewal of baptism and is a contract with God
for a fresh start in life. Repentance goes shopping for
humility and is ever distrustful of bodily comfort.
Repentance is critical awareness
and a sure watch over oneself. Repentance is the
daughter of hope and the refusal to despair."
Slowly I am seeing that the way of inward peace
is only found in this way;
Lent truly then is a gift to us...
Now then to learn to apply what I am learning!
Lord help us!


Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I really love the photos of your wonderful icon corner, Elizabeth....they always soften my heart and incline it to prayer, so thank you and God bless !

GretchenJoanna said...

A helpful meditation...I love that quote by St John Climacus and the phrase, "...goes shopping for humility." It's making me think a lot.

Mimi said...

Beautiful, thank you!

Sarah in Indiana said...

Lord help us, indeed! These are some helpful words. I need to remember this: "Repentance goes shopping for humility and is ever distrustful of bodily comfort."