Sunday was a sober yet bright day.
Sober because we are reminded that we will all
be at the last judgement and that we have to actively
participate in the Christian life; that being saved is not an
automatic everyone-gets-in event... though how God judges is not
fully known to us, we understand that what we do here matters ...
these two short paragraphs explain it well:
"The time for repentance and forgiveness is now, in the present life. At the Second Coming, Christ will appear as the righteous Judge, Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:6). Then the time for entreating God’s mercy and forgiveness will have passed.
As Father Alexander Schmemann reminds us in his book GREAT LENT (Ch. 1:4), sin is the absence of love, it is separation and isolation. When Christ comes to judge the world, His criterion for judgment will be love. Christian love entails seeing Christ in other people, our family, our friends, and everyone else we may encounter in our lives. We shall be judged on whether we have loved, or not loved, our neighbor. We show Christian love when we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick or in prison. If we did such things for the least of Christ’s brethren, then we also did them for Christ (Mt.25:40). If we did not do such things for the least of the brethren, neither did we do them for Christ (Mt.25:45)."
I find more and more comfort in St Siloan's words:
Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.
....This saying has had lots online about it and books.
I am very careful, when it comes to things like this, to choose selectively
what to read as it is actually very high theology and most of us are not
(certainly myself included, Lord have mercy!) at a state to understand it.
If you want to know more about this statement, read here.
From this I would say the first thing to understand about the statement is
that it means to see oneself in a humble way that sees that we too are not worthy of heaven
but yet we must not despair as God's mercy is great, greater than our sin.
I really appreciate also the balance that Mat Constantina brings to this,
in writing about how a nun was told to not practice self-condemnation
(the practice of growing in seeing oneself as a sinner) but that she was to
Thanksgiving can bring humility that is desired and can lead us
to see our unworthiness and God's mercy that causes us to not
despair... The key here is to NOT despair but look to CHRIST who is
waiting for us, full of MERCY.
Something I am struggling with so many to do is to train myself to
look to Christ first.
It's really hard to do, so easy to turn to social media or a friend or a phone call
instead oaf praying first.
But the key here too is not despair and keep seeking this.
Well. It's butter week now!
Meat has been enjoyed and said good bye to.
Now the week is everything but meat.
Of course fasting is according to one's strenght and health.
You can see that I had a lot of things that were enjoyed today!
And my yearly supply of candles came!
What a blessing!
I hope to bake a cake this week to use up
the sour cream!
May God bless us and help us!