Is the beginning of fasting. Mother of God watches me in tears, and my heart broken by so many sins and helplessness, cries when meets the purity that springs from the holy icon. I have been worried lately that my life is the same, that I fail to change something, that I lay in the same helplessness. And I often ask myself: “What do you do to change something in your spiritual life?” The first step is to recognize your helplessness and sins, but you can not simply remain at the awareness stage, because it means to stay in mud.
The confession should remove the dirt, as so beautiful someone on the site quoted Father Sofronie Sakharov, to whom a young desperate girl asked painfully an advice: “Father, pray for me because I am … in mud, ” and he answered: ” There is nothing, sister, water lilies are growing in mud. “
So it should happen with us after our sins are confessed, so we can say as the prophet David said: ” Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.” But this is not always happening so either from weak faith, or the so-called inability to fight against our own sins, for it is written in Holy Scripture: “In your struggle with sin, you have not yet resisted unto blood”(Hebrew, 12.4).
Some time ago, I found at the religious objects store, a book entitled “As your thoughts are, so is your life,” of Elder Tadei from Vitovnita Monastery, which made me realize how little importance we give to our thoughts, how easily we get every thought in our mind, than, being so easy, in our hearts will spread feelings of hatred, of despair, pride, envy, etc.. How easily do we speak in vain, useless words, and especially slander words against our neighbor.
We confess all these to Holy Confession, without too much further penance, because, that is, we are sinners and powerless, and then we approach the Holy Chalice, to receive the One Who sacrificed for the forgiveness of our sins. And if we remember the words spoken by the priest after Holy Communion: “Behold your lips touched, wipe your sins and your sins will be cleaned,” we can not think how our lips should be clean when we receive Christ.
In a spiritual book called „Pateric” is written that someone went to Saint Pimen and asked: “Father, how to reward evil with evil?” To which Saint Pimen replied: “Brother, it rewards evil with evil in mind first, and then in the eyes, and then in word and in deed after all.” Firstly in our mind, because all human rights are based on thoughts. And Saint Pimen said something important: “But if you remove evil from your mind and your thoughts, the next steps will not take place.”
Also in Pateric is written that someone asked a Father: “What shall I do because all sorts of evil thoughts are coming to my mind?” And Father said “Stop the wind.” But brother asked: “How to stop the wind? I can not stop the wind.” Then the father answered: “As you can not stop the wind, so you just can not stop bad thoughts to come, but there is something else we can do, with a good thought to remove the evil thought.”
Father Theophilus Paraian said in one of his sermons: “If you want to fix something in your life, you must arrange well your thoughts, and not to get evil thougts. In the Philokalia is written that in the loving diligent heart, the evil thought vanishes as the fire burns out in water. From this we can see our cheer – if the bad thoughts remain in mind, then we don’t have a loving diligent heart, we are not used to banish the evil thoughts with the good ones.
Do not deceive ourselves that we cannot sin by thinking, because Jesus Christ himself blamed the rich who wanted to broaden his barns, and collect his riches, not because he did something bad, but because he thought something bad, calling – him crazy – “Crazy, tonight I will ask after your soul. And whose will be all those you have prepared?”
Also, Father Arsenios Boca tells: “As you know, one of the part of a prayer the priest says at the Divine Liturgy is: “Holy are You, God, and between saints you are resting.” Therefore, beware that God, One as a being and triple in person, is resting between saints! What is this? This means that He is struggling between sinners! How much is God struggling in heart of wretched man! How much humility are people subjecting the image and likeness of God.”
We can not get to the measure of Saints, but we can try to avoid evil thoughts as Abbot Tadei said, “let us consider the mind” as Father Theophilus said, removing any bad thought, and in our attempt to clean our mind and soul, we can give God the opportunity to rest even an eyelash inside of our heart.
Mother of God be our help during this fasting for the change of our thoughts!