Thursday, November 13, 2008


I’ve been impressed by all those at seminary who are called to sacrifice. I was struck by something that a prospective student at the seminary said, which was, “everyone here suffers.” I suppose that is what we are there for. I am so fascinated with the idea of struggle (not just an idea of course). The Russians seems to know it well. Eastern religion says that life = struggle, with nothing beyond that. In the last few centuries the West has tried to struggle without God, ie-existentialism, nihilism, Puritanism, which leads to libertinism. Of course, even with these philosophies, as well as “atheism” and “agnosticism,” people are still struggling and yearning for the divine. We are taught not to struggle – from every kind of cosmetic surgery imaginable to an individual’s “pursuit of happiness” being the ideal. A life-changing moment occurred for me when I realized that my struggles are to be transfigured for my salvation – not to be glorified, not to be ignored, but used. God uses all for his benefit. As the psalm says, “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.” As Christ said, “If the disciples were quieted the stones would cry out.” Everything groans in travail, waiting for our Saviour to come again. My priest said last year that we are each given a gift from God. Some of us are given the gift to preach with their words. Others are given the gift of bearing burdens. Still, others are given the gift of tears. Some monks spend decades in monasteries crying for the world. Why are we taught not to cry? Why are we so afraid to be weak? As Paul said, “it’s in our weakness that we are strong.” It’s a temptation in Christianity to not constantly be amazed by the fact that our Lord became a man, and died on a tree (cross) and took on our struggle and sin. Forgive me for not being more grateful. Forgive me for at times losing hope. May this weak and broken vessel be used for a small contribution, and may God remember us all in His Kingdom.


Blogger Sophocles said...

Excellent post, AJ.

12:38 AM  

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