I HAVE run through every sin, I have surpassed everyone in prodigality; if I wish to repent, I do not have streams of tears; if I still live in negligence, I am liable to punishment. But grant me correction, O God, thou who alone art Good, and have mercy upon me.
Tuesday in the First Week of Lent (today).
Throughout Lent, we lament our sinfulness like this.
Here are some quotations that I’ve found helpful.
A BROTHER who shared a lodging with other brothers asked Abba Bessarion, “What should I do?” The old man replied, “Keep silence and do not compare yourself with others.”
Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
AT the beginning of the spiritual life, out of love, God doesn’t allow anyone to realize either his sinfulness or the many benefactions that He bestows on him, so as to keep him from despair, especially if he is sensitive.
WE must give ourselves up to good thoughts and desires for our benefit and then we, our families and others will experience harmony, for, wherever we may be, we will give out quiet and peaceful thoughts, which are full of good.
Cease to think evil of your superiors or colleagues at work, change your evil thoughts to good ones and you will see how the behaviour of your one time ‘enemies’ will change.
SWEARING, abusive speech, rage, animosity, hate, brawls, lust-filled gaze. Are not these displays of a rotted soul which has putrefied by turning away from God?
SO let each one of us, both young and old, with every word we say, with every step we take, at every moment of night and day, examine if perhaps we do, say, or think something that is not pleasing to Christ.
I wonder, are we always worthy when we approach to commune Christ? I wonder, do we walk in imitation of him? I wonder, does our sweet Jesus remain within us? Does he find a place in our pure heart, or does he depart immediately?
MY dear, sweet Mother, help me, show me how I may be saved!
Intercede, my dear Mother, with your son that He may show me what He wants me to do and what I should seek from Him.
May he open the eyes of my soul, which are closed, and thus I do not see him — while He sees me at every moment — and I constantly grieve him.
Elder Joseph the Hesychast.