If only Adam could have said, while still in the Garden of Eden: "Forgive your indocile and disorderly servant, O Lord, for not listening to you". His life would have been different. Would God not have forgiven him? He would, and there would have been no exile and no death for any of the people. But one sin breeds another. Not only had Adam disobeyed God, but he also aggravated his sin by blaming it on God. He said, "It was the woman you put here with me. I would not have sinned if she had not told me. It was your fault!" Likewise, the woman said: "It was not my fault. The serpent deceived me, He whispered in my ear so cunningly that I could not resist. Why did You let him in?"
Sin acts on us subtly and covertly. We transgress once, and we cannot stop. Our sin launches a chain reaction that goes out of control.
Let me give you an example from my life. It happened about four decades ago. I had been living in God's grace and saw Christ in all people. It was a great gift of God to me, a sinner. My soul rejoiced, and I recognised the living Christ in every priest. Suddenly, His grace left me. I had come to treat God's gift to me as my property. It seemed to me that there was something that I could see, but others could not because they were blind. I was singing in a church choir, and when the singers talked or allowed themselves to be distracted, I was thinking to myself: "What do these old women think they are doing? How could they be talking to each other in the middle of a prayer service?" I was condemning them.
But by condemning others, we appropriate God's gifts and lose our closeness with Him. We let sin enter our hearts. The priests in whom I used to see the image of Christ now appeared to me as ordinary sinners. This sudden change in perspective was detrimental to my soul. Only recently, my world was full of light and beauty, and a short time later, it turned dark. I questioned the truth of my experience. It is in our human nature to forget our past quickly and erase it from our memories.
God helps us, saves us and brings us back to our senses. He purifies and sanctifies us with His love. Yet we are ungrateful and too quick to forget, abandon and doubt the experience of our souls. In His infinite humility, God is never tired of waiting for people to see the light, come to their senses and realise His closeness. He still loves us and hopes that we will repent. From a human perspective, how infinitely humble He must be not to take offence and abandon us altogether.! God loves us unconditionally in all of our states and conditions. He has enough love to transform the most dreadful sinner into a saint.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross takes a special place among the Christian feasts. It is our chance to reflect on eternity, the victory of life over death, and the triumph of God's love.
Movement is life. We are always in a hurry, racing somewhere. This ongoing race forms a habit that won’t let us stop and see, hear and perceive what is happening now, at this moment. So what’s the whole point of rushing, really? Where are we…
As Christians, we know that there are many people tonight who need our prayers because, sadly, they cannot pray for themselves. So we will spend this night standing at the Divine Liturgy, praying for the secular and Christian worlds together.…
At some point, we will become weak, only to find out that we had neglected our spirits and not prepared them for the life to come. Therefore, as we call for God's help, we should not ask him to turn around the circumstances of our lives.
We long for miracles but forget that Christ is near and ready to say to us "Stand up, pick up your mat and walk! Walk after me."
When we go to Church and trust our Lord, we have no reason to complain. So let us live as Christians and thank the Lord in our prayers.
Sometimes, the magnitude of human suffering, hardship, and pain can throw us into despair. But let remind ourselves that people in worse situations have come out of them successfully, and emerged stronger than before.