Monday, February 12, 2018

Sunday-Monday, looking forward to Tuesday...

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)."

Found here.
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
practice thanksgiving. 
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!


Tracy said...

"what we do here matters"... that is a beautiful sentiment to carry daily, and to remember that in our last moment will be judged for what we took the time and heart on. Keep seeing Christ in every moment...This makes a great introduction to Lent! LOVELY to see all you've been enjoying. While the discipline of fasting can be hard, at times, there is actually a lot that can be enjoyed, if we open our eyes and heart during this great time! Blessings to you, my friend ((HUGS))

shoreacres said...

I love your cup and saucer with the pansies. I'm a great fan of the flower, and am going to have some pansies -- and a bit about someone who lived in NYC and painted pansies -- in my next post.

As for judgment? I've always taken comfort in the fact that the Last Judgment belongs to God. We live our lives being judged by others: sometimes fairly, sometimes not. It's of great comfort (and just a little amusing) to think, "Well, the final judgment won't belong to that crotchety neighbor or obnoxious co-worker, or the hyper-critical family member, for that matter!"

As always, a lovely and thought provoking post.

Mat Anna said...

I love how Cleo insinuates herself into so many pictures. 😊

Yes, if I focused too much on the judgement to the exclusion of loving God and trusting in His mercy I would despair. Of course some take that so far as to say we will not have to account for our sins, even of omission. We will, and we can’t be tempted into complacency and spiritual sloth.

Enjoy butter week! We had cheese pizza last night and chocolate chip cookies. (Father’s out of town so keeping it a bit simple - didn’t hear a word of complaint last night, lol.)

Lisa Richards said...

Looking to Jesus first. I'm working on that, too!