Sunday, July 29, 2012

St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain: "When you find yourself wounded by sin"

Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd Who lays down His life for the Sheep (
St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain: "When you find yourself wounded by sin" (amateur translation)
When you find yourself wounded because you fell into some sin because of your weakness, or sometime through your desire to your detriment: do not be afraid, nor should you be troubled because of this, but as you immediately return to God, speak thusly: "Look, my Lord, I did this deed as I am that kind of person. It is impossible for You to expect anything else from me, who am so ill-intentioned and weak, other than falls from me and being demolished."

And then, bring tears to your eyes for a while, and mourn with pain of heart for the sadness which you cause God, and without becoming confused, become indignant against your shameful passions, especially against that passion which became the cause of your fall. And say again: "I would not have been standing up till now, my Lord, I would have sinned worse, unless you had not kept me in Your great goodness."

And thank Him and love Him much more, being amazed at His great compassion, for despite all the things that you have done to sadden Him, He again extends His hand to help you, that you might not fall again into sin. Finally, say with great firmness to His compassion: "You, my Lord, do as You are, and forgive me and do not allow me from now on to be separated from You, nor to be distanced from You ever, nor to sadden You anymore."

And doing this, do not wonder if He forgave you, because this is nothing other than pride, disturbance of the nous, loss of the time, and deception of the devil, colored with different beautiful excuses. Because of this, leave yourself free in the merciful hands of God, continue your ascesis, as if you had not fallen. And if, due to your weakness, the same occurs and you sin many times in the day and you remain wounded, do that which I said each time, not with any less hope in God. And condemn yourself further and hate the sin further, and struggle to live with even greater care.

This struggle does not please the devil, because he sees how much it pleases God, and because the enemy remains shamed seeing that he had been defeated by him whom he had previously conquered. Because of this he uses different fraudulent ways to prevent what we are doing.

And many times he accomplishes his task due to our negligence and the little care that we have for ourselves.

Because of this, whenever you find yourself in this difficulty from the enemy, even more so should you struggle to do this many times, even if you only fell once. Of course, you should do this when, having sinned, you feel that you are troubled and confused; you should seize the thoughts of disbelief, and thus you bring about peace and tranquility in your heart, along with bravery. And having been armed with these weapons, you return to God.

Because, a confusion and being troubled by sin like this does not occur because we saddened God, but it occurs because of fear of His condemnation. And this signifies that it springs from our self-love, as we said many times before.

Our method, therefore, to bring about peace is the following: to totally forget your fall and your sin, and to deliver your thoughts to the great and ineffable goodness of God. And that, He waits with great diligence and desire to forgive every sin, even if it is grave, calling the sinner with various ways and through different paths, to come to his senses and to be united with Him in this life through His grace, and in the other life, to sanctify him with His glory and to make him blessed forever.

And with these and similar thoughts and reflections, you will bring peace to your nous, then you can return from your fall, doing as I said above. Straightaway, when the hour of your confession comes (which I advise you to do very frequently), bring to mind all of your sins, and with new pain and sadness for that with which you saddened God, and with diligence and resolve to not sadden Him further, reveal them all to your Spiritual Father, and fulfill with diligence the canon that he ordains.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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