Show me something. Stop constantly to justify himself: “I can’t, can’t keep up…” Well, today couldn’t. When? Each day make at least a small feat for Christ’s sake – says Archimandrite Andrei (Konnos).
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Prayer is not for those who are constantly complaining
- Since you can’t have small, I’ll give you a lot
- Archimandrite Andrew Conano: the Lord condemns not the sinners, and hypocrites
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Let’s take attack Paradise!
- It is important to believe that we deserve better and God will send it to us
How fortunate that you came
You know what always pleases my soul? When on Sunday morning, on the way to Church, I meet at a bus stop of people who also go to Church. They are always a little bit – it’s very early hour, six in the morning Sunday… it is Particularly gratifying to meet them in the winter when it’s cold.
And it’s always nice when people come to the temple to put a candle. When I turned to praying in opened Royal doors, saying “Peace to all!” and at this point you see how the doors of the temple opens and man enters, takes a candle, lights it before the icon, praying.
And yet – when a person coming to take the Eucharist.
Why I say all this now?
I remember one person who came to the service, I said:
– How fortunate that you came! So glad to see your jealousy, your zeal, humility, and heroism!
After all, it’s actually work and feat – when sacrificing your comfort, a cosy warm bed (and in summer – cool air conditioning) to go to the temple.
And this man said to me in response:
– You, father! I sin so much and I can not fix it! You know!
But this is your fight, ‘ I replied. The effort that you do on yourself – it’s your tithe, your sacrifice.
Do: you get up and go to Church though so I want to sleep longer; or, despite the summer heat, when it is impossible to think about anything. Maybe before you went to bed late but still get up and go to the temple. There’s your victim, and it is very meaningful, very valuable.
From that moment the issue of your salvation is entirely in God’s hands. And He surely gives you the opportunity and send grace and strength to continue the struggle for humility. It will give the opportunity to change, to get rid of the passions that torment you; It will remove all your stress will help you to stop fighting and to love more. When? He knows when. I do not know. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow or in a few days, months… God knows.
But what you’re doing, your actions is very important. This is your fight, your struggle, and you’re the co-worker with God.
“Lord, I also contribute to the great plan for the salvation of my soul. I have nothing special, I have nothing at all. I can only give You their good intention, good will and a bit of diligence. Only this”.
Again and again come back to God’s embrace
The Holy martyrs gave Christ his body. They were killed, tormented, cut off hands, feet, thrown into the fire, quicklime, cut, hung… Thousands of torture! In those days this was practiced. And the Lord allowed such suffering, blood and tears…
Today, we other Christians, much less serious. But today the Lord looks at our work. Today, He encourages us to shed blood for Him (at least until I don’t know what will happen then). Now God doesn’t need us to something exceptional, excessive and heroic, what happened when people gave Him life.
He needs quite a bit. And I see that you give it to Him. Well, well done! Because I’m not cursing you in the confessional just can’t! It’s one thing when a person sins and the other when you do not want to exert even the slightest effort. Sin is common to all people. But if there is no diligence is a real problem.
And you trying. And try on! Force. Tempted to fight. Try it, go ahead, fight – but don’t take it easy on sin. Wrestle a bit!
Let you lose control, let it fail, start screaming, swearing and nervous – all of this you can understand.
But keep trying – again and again. Again and again come back to God’s arms, and He will tell you “I forgive You! Again, forget again, love again, help to become better. I quite see that you’re trying, making efforts. Even a little bit.”
But if even a little to try out – how can that be?
If you don’t submit your “I”, it will start to obey him
Will tell you a story from the Patericon. Read The Lives Of The Fathers?
One person came to Anthony for the Great advice: the best way to contend. And Saint said in response:
– Let your courage will such a prayer at such and such a time.
– Can’t, father!
Can’t? Well, then every day I read the gospel.
No, you can’t!
– Well, then take two or three bow.
But it is very difficult, I have a bad back!
– Then give alms.
– No money.
And then Saint Anthony said to the monk, who was nearby:
– Boil this man’s porridge, he’s sick!
Can’t, can’t… What you can do? You’re sick, my dear? I tell you one thing – it’s difficult to say more – it is impossible.
I do not demand from you deeds. Don’t insist that you traveled to mount Athos and lived there, lived five days in a year. There is rarely eat vegetable oil, for several days generally abstain from food or eat once a day; constantly put bows – and lent twice. And you, what are you doing? Go to the temple?
I started with this because going to Church easier. Put your piece of feat that you do something – a little.
No one blames you that you do not do anything great or difficult. But the Lord sees my son at least your location, a good inclination, at least some ljubicaste on your part!
As taught by elder paisios: “a Little ljubicaste, my child!”
Show me something. Stop constantly to justify himself: “I can’t, can’t keep up…” Well, today couldn’t. When? Next Sunday can? “I don’t know, maybe.” You realize that actually you just don’t want to do the effort? But if you don’t subdue their “I”, it will start to obey him. And when that happens, you will be very hard, life will become a nightmare, disaster will fall on your head… Forget the “I” to get right with God. Forget it, and then certainly again will find it – know where? In the arms of God. Like this idea? I “stole” it from the elder paisija. If you forget the “I”, you’ll find it in the arms of Christ.
Forget the “I”, and then will receive it in the love of Christ. Your whole life will change. Stop thinking about yourself all day – so you dismiss yourself. Are you afraid of the slightest discomfort, the slightest difficulty – I’m afraid not sleep, tired, freezing… Wait, but ahead – so much happiness! God grant us Paradise! Grant – means that whatever you do, the reward still goes for nothing. But you do have to stretch the hands toward the gifts of the Lord. Your deed is is to open his arms to give God the opportunity to bestow you.
If the person is still falling, do not need to “finish”
Remember, we said that our program – like those who live in the feat, and for those who do not. We listen and nevenchanny, who have just embarked on this path, and those who constantly strive for masteries. However, devotees must contend – to have humility among his many exploits. To do this, add another feat, namely, to pray for those who do not intervene.
Imagine the humility to stay awake, praying, for example, about those who suffer from insomnia who can’t sleep! And not to envy those who are already asleep, and saying, “Lord, I am awake, praying for You – for two or three hours a night, but ask You to give calm, peaceful, sweet sleep to those who now want to fall asleep and can’t”. It’s a great feat to contend, but with love to others. So the feat will be love and unity with all, not a smug sense of self-uniqueness, when a person thinks: “I not such as all! I am special – and there may be, and generally is a bit…”
How to react to the feat of the Holy fathers! They had a great love, humility and simplicity towards others. For example, Abba Pimen, the pillar of asceticism. His prayer was truly fiery. When he had her arms up, people saw how his fingers turned into flames, radiating light. His body belonged to prayer. Fire prayer! And once, when Abba Pimen sat down to relax a bit, he saw that the monk nearby is about to sleep. And Holy was not to push, to Wake him up (“Wake up, you’re a Christian! Wake up!”), and put his head on her shoulder and then to his knees.
You know what? To tired the monk was easier to sleep. And then he began to pray twice as strong – for myself and for sleeping. Beautiful? Yes. Nothing to add. It’s called goodness. The person is strict with himself and indulgent to others. Not condescending in the sense that it encourages everyone to relax, saying, “It is not a sin, it’s okay, do what you want, sin quietly”. I don’t mean it. I think you know what I mean. Sometimes people know something’s wrong, tell them one thing and they hear another. But I think you all understand.
That’s why I said that it is important to be honest with yourself. Honest is not the one who says, “Abortion is not a sin! Adultery is not a sin! Smoke – nothing!” That’s not honesty, and spiritual relaxation and blurring of the boundaries – when nowhere there’s nothing wrong and everything is possible. I don’t say that.
I say that if you see a person, after all efforts, is still falling, do not need to “finish”. We need to show love for him, mercy, compassion, understanding.
This is the real austerity, feat, offering themselves to the Church.
What are we doing? Nothing! Vandeven hands and praise: “o Lord! When You were wearing all His gifts, we didn’t yawn, so we were lucky!” Just remember, as one student complained to me:
– When the God gave people a mind, I missed it!
– Yes, – I said. – You’re wrong. Everyone has their talents, and everyone can succeed. You are too clever. Maybe you can’t solve complex problems, so you don’t become a scientist, physicist, mathematician, but a certificate to you can. And then will go to some University and successfully graduate. Find the talent.
Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”