Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What did you do this weekend?

I am reading "Elder Barsanuphius of Optina"  and came across a story that made me stop and think.  He was hearing confession of one of the young men who made a pilgrimage to Optina.  The  Elder reminded the young man the the young man had decided to go to an opera on a saturday night instead of going to church.  This was on the eve of St Nicolas feast.  The young man thought that by going to church on sunday he would still be honoring the Saints feast.  He chose to enjoy himself that evening instead of honoring the Saint.  Hmmmm.  Every weekend there is church.  Sometimes there are services during the week.   I should go and confess and commune right?  But there always seems to be some excuse not to go.  Football game on this morning that I have to watch.  I had a long week and need to get some sleep.  You get the idea.  How many vacation days do I have this year?  Now I wonder what really is more important?  

Am I obedient?

Obedience:  Distrust in oneself in everything,  however good it may be, right to the end of one's life.  
The Ladder of Divine Ascent  
Step 4 Ch 5

I had to give this a lot of thought.  Then it made sense to me.  How can I possibly make good and proper decisions in anything if I am tainted by sin?  Is my decision swayed by the things surrounding me?  I don't live in a monastery and am no monk.   Remember to make those decisions in life that can affect everything in a manner that is most rewarding to the salvation of your soul.   Thank GOD for my spiritual father.

What really matters?

When you go to church,  what do you pray for.  How about when you are at home?  What really matters?  Our health?  Our wealth?  How about GODS will?  I can tell you that I have been sick for some time.  Here is what has happened since I have been sick.  I have more time to be at church confessing and communing since i cannot work.  I cannot feel my stomach,  no hunger and no fullness,  so no gluttony.  There are other sins but you get the idea.  So how do you decide what really matters in your prayer.  I am not worthy of knowing the answer to this but I can say I do not worry about how sick I am.  GOD has mercy on me for which I am not worthy but he has mercy.  So I pray for others.