The crisis and autocriticism

Monk Moses the Athonite

            Saint Athanassios the Great says: `Although human mind was created by God to contemplate His Beauty and be enlighetened by the divine brightness, after the fall it fiercely turned against creation. Thus the men instead of having their mind turned towards God, got attached to creatures, worshipping them instead of worshipping God.

Many ask us what to do in the actual crisis. Saint Athanassios the Great tells us briefly how we reached this situation. Prophet David, in his beautiful psalms insists: Turn from evil and do good.`

The present times are not for easy and improvised words. There is no time to lose. As we wrote, the crisis should lead us to self-criticism, to reflection and authentic repentance. In order to make sweetness come out from bitterness.

The blind elder from Colciu, hieromonk Dionysios from Calciu said: `Because God loves us, He gives us these gifts. That is why we shoul always thank Him when He gives us a cross. And this is the Cross of Christ. Glory to God!` And he adds: `We must have hope. The pastors of the Church must give hope to the world and tell the people that we should always find our escape in God. God will help us in everything. Let us be faithful, let us have no doubts`

The Romanian hieromonk Petronius Prodromite said: `Wickedness draws the man in many directions, changes him, leads him astray. Then the man finds hard to get interested in the spiritual matters, is always under stress and becomes a slave of this awful inner mood..Today the spiritual men and many people have begun to have certain spiritual quests and anxieties. But when the man faces spiritually these things, he feels well on the outside and on the inside as well. He doesn’t feel broken down but he is aware of himself. Isn’t it so, the Fathers don’t they say so?`

The blessed monk Marcelus from Karakalu depicts quite accurately our issue: `Nowadays our life got poor because we cannot pray. Meaning that we don’t have any communion with God. And if you don’t have any communion with God, you are in communion with the world, through the media. And when you get your information through these you tear yourself apart of God. That is why we have a poor spirituality. The world got poor because it doesn’t know to pray. If you don’t talk with God – the Father, then you are poor inwardly, uncomforted, because you desire the worldly joys. But whoever has the joy and peace of God inside himself, doesn’t want anything else anymore.`

Is this hard to understand? Isn’t it perfectly true? The lack of communion with God is the greatest poverty.

The only true joy is the communion of the man with God. But we are not saddened by this lack, only when our monthly wage decreases. Only Christ gives true joy. All the other joys are false, elusory, only trying to fill the inner emptiness. With Christ the relationships between men become more lenient, the passions are ugly, the virtues adorn and beautify the soul.

There are needed divine strengthening, inner power and personal strife in order to reject the evil. The more someone estranges from God, the more nervous and irritated he becomes, he gets fond of the earthly things and worships them. Sometimes not even the voice of his conscience is on his taste and he makes it shut up. Thus the man lives a hell but he doesn’t want to give up on it.

He thinks that he will be released only with medicine for psychiatric ailments and he doesn’t confess, accepting to live in sin. Because of this confusion the passions of malice, envy, revenge and debauchery multiply. Only Christ can give patience, humility, joy, peace and love in the heart of the true Christian.

Then he looks rather inside himself than around himself. He is severe with himself and tolerant with the others. If the man now reaches that, then the crisis judged him and promoted him. It led him to the nice self criticism, to the self-knowledge and the knowledge of the others, by compassion for the neighbor, by assuming a sane and humble way of thinking and a spiritual simplicity, austerity and moderation.