There are moments when we say we can no longer bear the cross Good Lord gave us, and most of the times we come to this conclusion because of the despair caused by the presence of sin in our lives and of the disbelief in the Savior’s words.
Lately I have forgot about prayer and the joys it brings, my heart has become petrified, and my mind has darken… and all these because of my estrangement from God.
Many times I feel my shoulders heavy… heavy with the burden of sins. Although I know that only through repentance that I will be healed, thoughts of shame and despair overwhelm me… I am afraid of myself because I know I will always fall, I will always crucify the Lord Jesus and I will always turn my back on Him and I will love myself more.
Every time that God enlightens me and shows me my sins, thousands of thoughts of pride invade my mind… for a few moments I am aware of them… only for a few moments, and then I carry on with my sinful life. I wish this would not happen any longer, but because human nature is so weak and helpless, it is as if we said to ourselves that there is no use in fighting. It is exactly for this reason that the Christ , Our Savior urges us not to fall into despair, because that the Kingdom of Heaven it’s available only for those who persevere , through the burning love inspired by the Holy Spirit and through unseen struggle with sin and passions.
No matter how many soul-strengthening teachings we receive, it is as if in our hearts we are not yet convinced that we can still achieve salvation in our days as well.
We should ask ourselves the question mentioned in the title but addressed to God… what would I be without You, Lord? I am certain that if we asked ourselves every moment, we wouldn’t forget our sins and, as beloved Father Cleopa Ilie used to say, we would constantly sleep in sins. Unfortunately, many of us do this… we forget that we are mere creatures and we are in God’s hands.
I started asking myself this question more often since the day I was at the subway and I caught sight of a billboard advertising a book with this title ‘What would be without you?’ written by Guillaume Musso. I haven’t read the book, but I heard it is about a woman’s two kinds of love: the love for her father and for the first man she fell in love with. She is forced to choose between the two beloved ones, because they are both caught in a deadly race, and their destinies cannot be separated.
I would have liked it very much if this question were addressed to the Lord Christ, and if the book had a Christian Orthodox topic. But I am glad because starting that day God has been helping me think more often about who I actually am.
Do not ever give up the spiritual struggle. Go to your confessor and confess your sins with repentance and sincerity.
I am anxious as well to go to my confessor because he is the person closest to me, who always awaits me with his arms open and wipes my tears. It is the Lord Jesus Himself through the confessor’s caressing and soul-strengthening words… and after receiving the absolution from sins and with the sincere desire not to sin anymore, the long expected joy comes along… the joy that lifts you to heaven and gives you wings to fly, the joy that cannot be compared to anything in this transient world.
Pray incessantly and struggle against sin… no matter how little it may be. It is because of sins that we are miserable and we cannot enjoy the gifts that God pours forth upon us out of His great love for mankind. Love your neighbor as yourselves and rejoice even together with the most humble beggar on the street corner… it is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself within that man’s soul who calls us and awaits for us to respond to Him with love.
Translated by Claudia