Today: December 14 2018
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What does it mean to live "truth for the sake of"

What does it mean to live "truth for the sake of"

Tags: Religion, Christianity

Blessed are those expelled of righteousness for the sake of,
for they are the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Math 5: 10)

When Christ speaks of righteousness, He does not mean the worldly truth. For example, the terrorists went and began to bomb America - worldly truth (justice) demands that America, in response, begin to bomb terrorists. And they say that this is justice: you hit me, and I'll hit you too! Since you have treated me unfairly [1], I also have the right to treat you unfairly.

Or, for example, we have a field; worldly logic believes that it should be divided in half. So that we measure it and divide it, which is also not bad, but this is not the truth about which Christ speaks. God's truth is different, that's why Abba Isaac says: "If you say that God is just, it's like you're fooling God, because He's not fair. For how is He just, if He gives His blessings to everyone without exception? He commands His sun to rise above the evil and good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous (Mt. 5: 45) "[2]." God loves all people and does not make any difference between them. He does not have worldly logic.

In fact, it's not true that someone does something unfair to himself. And when do we endure injustice? When we have a wrong relationship with God. This is untruth (injustice), because then our "I" is painful, weak and inadequate. The truth is when you find the right relationship with God, and from here - with all people. Truth is when you act according to God's spirit.

What does Christ say? "If someone drives you, you do not chase him, if someone hits you on the cheek, turn him and the other" (see: Matthew 5: 39). This is insane, judging in a mundane way, is not it? Many, especially young people, say today:

- Okay, so what are we - any sacrifices? Fools? Idiots? For someone to come and hit me, but I did not react? That is, so that we remain urban madmen all my life?

This is mundane logic, so people argue. But Christ comes and tells us that blessed are those expelled for the truth, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

When a person is persecuted for the truth, this does not mean that we must at all costs find the one who is driving him - maybe no one is chasing him, maybe persecution now does not exist, but a man must drive his own passions. For example, today people judge by what they like:

- And I like it so much! - he says to you and asks: - And what, is it bad? I like it, and I judge people and their actions according to what I like.

And we need to convince the other - a young man, a child, a young man - that if you like something, this does not mean that it should be done, and it does not mean that it's good either. You may like it, but be harmful and destructive to you. We must learn to drive away our old "I", who likes anything, and resist him.

The other one comes, curses you and offends you, and you also want to tell him something bad, you want to give yourself the will and knock it, but you restrain yourself, take yourself in hand, so as not to react in this way. This is the resistance that a man exerts on his passions.

Today, for example, fasting day, and you say: "I'll fast!" - but then a lot of things begin: "My head is spinning, I smell of shish kebab, I inhaled this smell, and it's like I ate a shish kebab. I'll take it and sing it really. I can not just sniff it! If I sniffed, the saliva flowed and I wanted it, it's like eating it. " But you, however, say to yourself: "No, I will not do this," and you oppose. Because you need to understand that the spiritual life is a struggle, and if you do not dare to fight, you will not be able to move forward either in life in general or in spiritual life in particular.

The priest at Baptism seals us with the sign of the Holy Cross all over the body, if you remember, because, unfortunately, Baptism today is a spectacle, a worldly rite, if you look at how it is done. Nobody listens to what the priest says, he speaks to himself, but God hears. So, the priest puts a seal on all the feelings of a person with the holy world, so that he can receive the spiritual armor and resist sin, passions and all that turbulent flow that wants to drown him.

A man must confront himself. This is very difficult, and we need to start small

It is not easy, it is not easy to resist yourself. This is very difficult, and we must start small. For example, I like something that does not belong to me. And since it is not yours, then you can not take it. "Yes, but the other ten have this!" Yes, let him have at least an 500! You can not take it: it does not belong to you. Leave him there; the fact that you like it does not mean that you have the right to take it.

You want a motorcycle, you like it. And you thought that there are people from whom you depend and who will worry about you? How can you be happy, enjoy and live in your own way, while making others unhappy? And then they sit on the couch and wait for you to return home to see if you are still alive, have not you died? So that they go up every night to Golgotha, and you did not care, because I like it so much? No, a man must learn to resist himself. If we do not learn this and we do not have such an understanding of life, we will not become personalities and ourselves will destroy ourselves.

I remember that in 1976, when I first went to Mount Athos, the elder Paisii performed a great ascetic feat and did not eat anything, except for a few raw vegetables and water. He was thin, with half a lung and almost at death. One doctor from Thessaloniki University, a pious man, told him:

"Gerond, eat a piece of bread!" It's enough to make you stronger.

He was lying sick, but he did not agree for anything:

- No, I'm ready to die better than to give up.

Such a brave spirit must be in a person, that he should be ready to endure everything, even death, but do not get off the ground! Because he knows that if he does this, he will stop on his way to God.

In the family there is a big problem when the parents say something, and on the next day they change their mind. I remember one person who has lost his way of the true, and, telling about his life, he told me exactly that. He analyzed his life and realized that the main reason, because of which he began to rebel and run away from the family, was that his father lied. For example, he told him:

"Do this kind of work around the house, and I'll give you a lira!"

And then did not give it. This caused a riot in him and provoked a great mental problem.

When a person confronts himself, at first he "drives" himself, a dilapidated person, forcing himself, does not allow himself to do what he wants. And it's true that he first experiences difficulties, because, as we said, he has to cut off his own desires, preferences and lusts.

Fathers were very cautious in these matters. So, one monk looked after a leper, whose condition became increasingly heavy, so that at last he began to publish a very unpleasant smell and from it flowed pus. When he came to the monk, he felt disgust and said to himself: "I can not! Let him go to someone else! "Then, however, he forced himself and decided:" No, you will go! And if you dare convince not to go out to him, then not only will you breathe in the eerie smell of leprous flesh, but I'll make you and eat it! That you have learned not to resist the work that you must do. "

You see, what resistance did the saints give to their self-love and self-esteem? Against them, they developed a strong character, a bold spirit, a martyrdom and became like persecuted for the sake of truth.

In families, there are often different problems, and, for example, a spouse comes who has a difficult husband and says:

"I can not stand it any more!" He's just driving me crazy! He tortured me!

And you ask her:

"And if this man were not your husband, but your son, would you drive him out of the house?"

She says:

- No.

Learn to endure and wait. Do not rush, do not wish that it has always been the way you like and how comfortable you are

Does the child's mother drive away, no matter what he does? It's impossible. She can not so easily do this. And this means that if you look at the husband with more love, then you will show patience. That is, a person at all stages of his life draws patience in simple things: you turned out, for example, somewhere, went into the temple and stood beside someone who irritates you: spits, stinks, rotates endlessly, and you show patience, learn to be patient, do not give up, start small, learn to endure, wait, cut off your will. And do not rush, do not wish that it has always been the way you like and how convenient it is for you.

Abba Dorotheus in "The Words of Worship" speaks about the cutting of the will, teaching that one should start small and have patience [3]. If you do not have patience, then when passions come to the surface, they can take you where they want, and you can not say no anymore, because only by learning to have patience can you resist these passions.

(To be continued.)

[1] Bishop Athanasius uses the word "unjustify" here, which means "doing wrong, offending".

[2] See: Isaac the Syrian, Reverend. Words selfless. The word 90.

[3] See: Dorotheus, Abba. Soulful teachings. Instruction of 7.

Metropolitan of Africa, Athanasius of Limassol
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