The man was defined by the anthropologists of our times in many ways: the man – the speaking creature, the man – the thinking being, the man – the being who works, but all these definitions prove to be helpless and incomplete. The man is not limited at these.
It is very important to understand that the world is not an amorphous mass of people, that every person of this world is extremely important.
Jesus has never treated the crowd of people who surrounded Him as a crowd, but He sought the face of the man and his soul, He spoke with each and everyone. Think how many times we read the Gospel and reading it we had the feeling that it purposefully addressed to each one of us.
Know that this means to see in the man who is before you a person, a soul that’s more important than the universe.
Treat any man around you as a man for whom Jesus died on the cross, beginning with those from your house and continuing with your neighbours, with the people from the street, from the traffic, with everyone you meet. It is a great thing to understand that there are people around you who have souls, problems, troubles, pains, needs of all kinds, different views of the world, different conceptions about life and death, different colour of the skin and different orientations. Have patience and mercy towards them, do not make them suffer or subjugate with authority, but pray God to give you this divine power to see beyond all the limits of a man – beyond of his look, of his speech, of his deeds – to see him as your brother whom God loves just as much as He loves you!
In our times there are researchers, personalist philosophers who study the person. These philosophers (who are not theologians) say that it is not work which makes the man superior to the animals, or his living in the society, but his spiritual life…the man paints, sings, writes and more than these, he prays! None of the other creatures of the world pray, none of them seeks or longs after something which is within himself.
The man is the only being who longs after the inner self living within himself. The Scripture refers at the spiritual man, at the man who fishes within himself, at the man who is not content with the shores where the water is small and the fish scarce. In one of the Gospels Simons says a difficult word: `Lord I’ve fished all night and didn’t catch anything.`
You see, the man tries in vain to get rid of boredom, of his bad moods, an hour of sleep does not solve his spiritual pain, a movie, a trip to the seaside or in the mountains, in the forest do not solve his spiritual pain!
A man told me one day: Father, I suffer a lot, I have problems, great concerns and fears disturb me, my soul hurts…I think I’m going to take the plane for a vacation of two weeks to forget about everything! My dear, I’m sorry to tell you but your thoughts, pains and worries will come with you and even more than this you may find them there when you arrive.
You cannot run of your thoughts and spiritual pains anywhere in the world! You cannot drown inside yourself your thoughts, pains, fears regardless of the vacations you would take, of the alcohol you would drink, of the cigarettes you would smoke or even worse … until when? Until you awake within yourself the spiritual man, the man who fishes in the depths.
All the fathers of the Church says that when you pray, when you focus on your inner self and you begin to see the emptiness within yourself, your sins, you get a wonderful state of repentance and endless humbleness and you say only this, as Simon said: `Go away from me, Lord, because I am a sinful man!`
You know what’s the paradox? He doesn’t leave, He remains near the humble man, near the man who sees himself sinful, He has endless patience and love for the man. try to fish in the depths, try to find that state which was called by the Fathers of the Church as being the QUEST FOR THE TRUTH…but not as a reading, as an intellectual activity, only as a profound state of grace in which the man and God meet each other.
The Saints who experienced this encounter say that once reaching that state they didn’t need anything at all anymore from this world because all their needs, all their emptiness was filled and fulfilled by God.
But how can we fish in the depths? What’s the rod for this fishing?
There is a wonderful prayer, a certain way of praying to God which takes you to your inner self, with all your fishing nets. There is a prayer which allows your mind to descend into the depths you have never thought you had, prayer which helps you to see your spiritual darkness which will gradually bring the Light within yourself:
`LORD JESUS CHRIST HAVE MERCY ON ME THE SINNER!`
Priest Visarion Alexa