The Sins of Other
Some people abandon themselves to sin in order to cover up their lack of self esteem. In their need for intimacy and acceptance, they seek out worldly pleasures, thinking these will fill the void that has kept them from happiness. In their desperate search for love, they are unable to form lasting friendships, and they spiral down, failing, ultimately, to achieve that which will satisfy them. Replacing carnal pleasures for true intimacy, they fall further into their brokenness. Falling ever more deeply into the abyss of the self-serving ego, they are estranged from true joy, and lasting peace.
These people are in need of mercy. And what is the Church, if not the place wherein they can be healed. If we who form the Body of Christ see ourselves as inspector generals, and set upon others in order to expose their sins and shortcomings, we deprive ourselves of the grace that comes from being merciful. If we, in our pride and self-serving ego, become like the eldest brother of the prodigal son, protesting our Father’s embrace of our returning lost brother, we become lost ourselves.
What are we to do when we see the sins of others, and what is to be our response? The Great and Holy Fast is a time for repentance, and a time for forgiveness. If we are to expect God’s mercy, we must be quick to be merciful to others. We must be blind to their sins and shortcomings, and look only to our own brokenness. For it is in reconciliation, not punishment, that we find God, and love of neighbor. We must rejoice when one among us has repented, and like the father of the prodigal son, must be quick to run forth with open embrace.
When we are brought down with the acknowledge of our own rottenness, we can begin to overlook the shortcomings of others. When we focus on God, we see not the sins of our neighbors, and we learn not to react, we learn not to resent, and we learn not to lose our inner peace.
With love in Christ,
Saturday February 25, 2012
Week of the Last Judgment. Tone three.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded
All of the venerable fathers, lit up with great deeds (movable holiday on Saturday of the Cheese-fare Week).
Iveron Icon (Moscow) of the Most Holy Theotokos (9th c.).
St. Meletius, archbishop of Antioch (381).
St. Alexis, metropolitan of Moscow and wonderworker of all Russia (1378).
St. Meletius, archbishop of Kharkov (1840).
New Hieromartyr Alexius (Buy), bishop of Voronezh (1930).
New Martyr Mitrophan, archpriest (1931).
Venerable Mary, nun (who was called Marinus), and her father, St. Eugene, monk, at Alexandria (6th c.).
St. Anthony II, patriarch of Constantinople (895).
Venerable Bassian, disciple of St. Paisius of Uglich and abbot of Ryabovsky Forest Monastery, Uglich (1509).
Venerable Gertrude of Nijvel, abbess (659) (Neth.).
St. Ethilwald of Lindisfarne (740) (Celtic & British).
New Martyr Chrestos at Constantinople (1748) (Greek).
Martyrs Saturnius and Plotonus (Greek).
Hieromartyr Urban us, bishop of Rome (223-230).
Holy Fathers Prokhore the Georgian (11th c.), Luka (Mukhaidze) of Jerusalem (1277), Nikoloz Dvali (1314), аnd the Holy Fathers of the Georgian Monasteries in Jerusalem (Georgia).
We are hoping to retire the mortgage debt of $250,000.00. Having this hanging over our heads, and knowing the bank owns the monastery, is not a good thing. Your prayers are most appreciated, as we need a miracle.
19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Do Good to Please God
6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
The Model Prayer
5“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.