Wednesday, April 26, 2006

dealing with sin

An old friend who's been going through some pretty serious sin for the past few years came back to church this week. I guess talking to him drew my attention to a couple of quotes I encountered later. The first is from an Athonite monk:
To stumble and fall is human; not to get up is demonic. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven, no wound that cannot be healed. All that is needed is desire, to truly want it to happen.
Right now, he recognizes his sin and worthlessness. I'm just concerned that he won't take the next step from self-pity to true repentance. He doesn't seem to have any hope for change. The second quote is from St. John of Kronstadt:
It may happen that there is much wickedness in your soul. But let it be known to God alone, Who knows everything that is secret and concealed, and do not show all your uncleanness to others; do not corrupt them by the breath of the wickedness concealed within you. Tell God your grief, that your soul is full of wickedness, and that your life is near to hell, but to other people show a bright and pleasant countenance. What have they to do with your madness? Or declare your soul's sickness to your confessor or to a true friend, so that they may teach you, guide you, and restrain you.
My friend seems much more willing to talk to other people than to God. He tells everyone about his own wickedness, but he is still very far from the One who can truly heal him.

Lord have mercy!

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