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Thoughts of Fr. John – May 2018

In honour of God the Holy Spirit: this week’s thought it from John 14:25 – 26 “these things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has sent in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

From St Mary of Paris (1891 – 1945 CE) a nun who led an all too human life before her conversion (smoked, drank, twice divorced and flirted with Bolshevikism) and who save numerous Jews only to be gassed to death on 30 April 1945 at Ravensbruk in Germany comes this week thought: “Christ, who approached prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners, can hardly be the teacher of those who are afraid to soil their pristine garments, who are completely devoted to the letter, who live only by the rules, and who govern their whole life according to rules.” Does this not apply to the majority of Christians today?

The church should, like God call and unveil the beauty and truth of things without imposition. To do otherwise runs a risk of losing its most divine characteristic which is divine love and understanding towards those who call upon it for salvation. The medicine called for is one of healing by the sick and not one of punishment or condemnation for that sickness.

From St Porphyrios : “There are two paths that lead to God: the hard and debilitating path with fierce assaults against evil, and the easy path of love. There are many who chose the hard path and ‘shed blood in order to receive Spirit’ until they attained great virtue. I find the shorter and safer route is the path of love.

That is, you can make a different kind of effort: to study and pray and have your aim to advance in the love of God and of the Church. Do not fight to expel darkness from the chamber of your soul. Open a tiny aperture for the light to enter, and the darkness will disappear. The same holds true for our passions and desires. Do not fight them, but transform them into strengths by showing disdain for evil.”

Do not choose negative methods to correct yourselves. There is no need to fear the devil, hell or anything else. These things provoke a negative reaction…The object is to live, to study, to pray and to advance in love…

– Elder Porphyrios, ” WOUNDED BY LOVE,” p. 136.