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(Do not) I want to paradise

(Do not) I want to paradise

02.02.2018
Tags: Religion, Christianity

I have good news for you, and I want you to receive it joyfully, as when you hear something pleasant. And the pleasant thing here is that you go to heaven, you will be saved, you will always be with God. I just want to tell you who's there next to you. And next to you will be - then I'll tell you how I learned all this news and who told me - next to you, on the one hand, there may be some criminals repenting sinners: for example, Hitler, Diocletian, some persecutor. Well? Do you still want to go there? Or is it annoying you?

Do not you like these people? Ah, you do not want them to be near you! Well then fine. Let's then change this condition, because you can do it and so that there were not they, if you so do not want it. Let then in this group, which in paradise, there will be other structure, other company in which you will be also. Let next of you be one of your brothers, with whom you do not talk. That's how when you went to the wedding and pretended not to notice your friend, i.e. you will be next to your brother, which you do not like. Well, you do not want it again? Well then fine.

Oh yes, and you remember - you, who told me that you were divorced, - that in paradise you will be with your wife, the very one with whom you divorced, she will be next to you. You and she. A-ah! Do not you like it again? But I told you that you will be in paradise! And you say:

- I do not want to paradise! If I am in paradise, and such people will be with me, then I do not want to be in paradise! I want to be in paradise with me ...

"So who do you want to see there?"

"Those who are pleasant to me, and not those who dislike me and whom I do not like." I want to see those whom I love, with whom I have good relations, with whom I have no problems. And with some I'm not in harmony and I do not want all of them to be with me!

You want to go to heaven, but that there were not all, but only some

That is, you want to go to heaven, but that there were not all, but only some. And do not hurry to scold me that I'm talking nonsense, because I read it in one spiritual book, where it was said: "Imagine that in paradise next to you will be Hitler. How do you feel then? "But you, first, take for granted that it is out of the question that such people are saved, and secondly, you say:

"Even if they survive, I still do not want to see them."

Yes, it is good that you are not God! It's good that I'm not God either, because God thinks quite differently. He has differently conceived everything with his mind and loves us.

"Oh, but how difficult is it to accept such a God who loves my enemy as me." I can understand that He loves me, - you say, - but that He would also love my enemy and put him in paradise?

It's good that you are not God, because God reasons quite differently

Yes, if he repents at the last moment of his life. And how do you know what he did then? Do you know what at the last minute of your life every criminal, every person, whom you can not see is done, did? You can not even think about him and turn the other way, just not to meet him! And who knows, maybe the Lord accepts and loves him, maybe He holds it in His arms, maybe He put it with His other children?

I made a mistake, saying: "Who knows." He said this to us, He said, "I love everyone, but sick people need the Physician" (compare Matthew 9, 12) - and not you, who are supposed to be healthy, but ultimately it turns out, that you are more painful than others who say that they are sick.

We are sick, because we do not have love. And you, even though you put in paradise, do not want to be with some people. You will also be separated there, and there you will look at your faces and say:

- And I'm better! I like selectively, I like it with certain conditions, I like it up to certain limits. I like only some, not all, I love, if they love me, and do not hurt, do me no harm. In that case, God will grant them the same! If some evil is done to me, may God compare them to the earth. I pray like a prophet David, and I tell stories from the Old Testament, and I give arguments from the Old Testament.

You have no excuse if you do not love

Yes, unfortunately, we only take this from the prophet David, we only borrow from the saints, that it is profitable for us, what we like. We should see some saint who stamped his foot, demanded his own, became enraged at some moment and told the word more poshlyche, we remember it. It's good that you imitate the holy prophet David, but only he did many other things: repented, worked, and he, naturally, did not live to see the blood of Christ on Calvary. He did not experience such repentance that he could have had in the New Testament era according to God's grace, he did not see the Lord stretching out His hands on the Cross, did not hear the slap that the Lord received, and forgave His tormentors. Therefore, he was what he was. And you have no excuse, if you do not love. You have no such right, there is no excuse for you.

Loving is difficult. Love is something that I do not yet know, something I do not even know whether I will ever know this - as a feeling for others, but also as a sense of God for me, too. That is, I do not know if I tasted God's love, which God gives me abundantly, I do not know if I felt what St. Anthony the Great says: "I'm not afraid of God, but I love Him" ​​[1]. God first loved us, we realized His love and felt it in ourselves. And because we felt His love - namely, that He loves us very much, God loves you, - that is why you are full of love and do not need to oppose yourself to anyone.

And why are you doing this?

- Because I love God, I'm a beloved soul, He surrounds me with tenderness, with love. Why should I feel unprotected, why should I feel hostility? How can I feel jealousy, why should I be jealous, why, when God's love always surrounds me! And how can I envy, when I have no shortage of anything, why could I be jealous?

And I have not experienced all this, and this is the reason why we do not like. We do not love, because we ourselves have not been beloved. We do not love, because we have not felt the love of God, which is, which is poured into our hearts. It poured out and filled our hearts, but they do not feel it. We have not yet felt ourselves to be an extremely beloved God, and therefore we experience insane insecurity and fear. You see another - and you perceive it as a threat to your own existence, you see another - and you are afraid that he will cause you some evil. You look at the other as your opponent in life, do not feel unity with him, do not experience that joy when his joy is my joy when my joy reflects on him and comes back to me, and it turns out like between mirrors when the light from one mirror is reflected in the other and becomes stronger and stronger.

I have to love others, because I'm becoming richer and do not lose my value, giving value to another, but gaining more value. But only words I speak now, some words ... And love - it is in deeds, not words. And there are people who do things, do a lot of things, do things, and do not breed theories in which faith is reduced to the level of ideology: beautiful words, arguments, discussions, abstract thoughts, ideas, philosophy, but all this without experience, experience , the victims, without you putting your hand in your pocket and helping someone, without visiting someone who needs you to talk to him, knelt down in prayer and uttered a tear about him - none of this.

And you do it, and I congratulate you, I envy you and admire you, because it is truly love. Otherwise, it's culture, Christian culture and discussion, but I also do not blame them, because if I do this, I will not have love, and then I will be as incognizant of the difference between the characters. One loves practical matters, and the other one is theoretical, but this too is the case. And what can you do? Some people are of the theoretical type, they are discussing, helping others to understand something intellectually. And this is also love. You can speak from the abundance of love, maybe you are a philosopher and your philosophy radiates love, if only one was your goal - to help a person, any person who listens to you.

Because there really are such minds, such people who have excellent theoretical knowledge, while others like practical things, and they ask:

"Do you know of any social institution where I could go and help?" Because to act is not mine.

Or as some of the old priests in the temples are holy people, they do not have the gift of speech, and they do not preach specifically. But they preach with their lives, they know how to help a person, they can listen to the pain of another, put their hand in their pocket and give 50, 100, 200, 300 to a needy person, go to a house where they are about to get divorced and say a tear , talking with their spouses, and say:

- Well, children, I can not give you arguments, but it's not good!

And the couple again unite from one of his kind words.

And someone - a monk on the Holy Mountain Athos and prays. This is also love. If he loves, that is, does not complain, does not quarrel. Because if he quarrels with someone in a monastery, you say to yourself: "But, my child, you have renounced everything to be a free and spiritually exalted person to turn your heart into a garden and embrace all people, and now you are arguing ? Was it possible that envy entered the monastery? Are there people here who you do not talk to? "

No, of course, there is no such in your monastery, but in some there is, and therefore prayer is needed, and we say: people expect from you love - your prayer, the sacrifice of your beads, when you take them in your hands and will commemorate everyone. So you do not ruin your soul, but you gain love.

We need to feel unity among ourselves, understand that we have nothing to divide, that we have much in common, such that we can discuss and feel that we are one with you. And when we are one, like all the holy particles of the Holy Lamb, the Body and Blood of Christ, which we put in Holy Potyr, are one whole: living, dead, all categories of people, all saints, then we all "mix up" and become one whole , one body, together with the Lord.

If you do not feel it in your heart, then you will look at me and consider it your enemy, and I will look at you and envy you. Your prosperity will become a threat to me, your success will be the reason for me to become jealous of you. But if I feel what the Lord said in His High Priestly prayer: "May all be one, very much I ask You, Heavenly Father. I pray that all will be the same (compare JN 17, 21), those who take My flaming heart, will arrange the baton, this fire will be transmitted from the heart to the heart, and they will ignite the fire all over the world. I pray that this is what distinguishes them - love and unity "...

If I understand that I have nothing to share with you, if I understand that you, like me, have a soul that is beautiful in the depths ... And yours too, and mine. My passions are so terrible, my anger, selfishness, weakness, weakness - yes, they are disgusting, but only they are not my "I". They are all around me, but have penetrated into my character, soul, heart. Inside us, there is a certain kernel, there is a seal that is bright, it is brighter than all the suns, all the lights of this world and the sky. And if I understand this, I will feel that I have so much in common with you and all people. And this will lead to the fact that we begin to burn with love, from such a great love, where one does not envy the other, does not look at him as a threat, but rejoices in his joy.

How difficult it is, even among the priests! I am a priest, but can I fall in love with another priest who is kinder, more capable, charming, who has a better voice? And that I rejoice in this, and that his joy should be my joy, that I should rejoice in his success, and he rejoiced at my opinion and believed that what he is he is indebted to all of us, and I would consider that what I am I, I am indebted to him as well, and that we strengthen each other so much. That there was no competition, there was no rivalry, there was no opposition, forcing to look at the other from the corner, the corner of the eye.

By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for yourself (John 13, 35), - love as a sacrifice, as unity, prosperity in all spheres and the joy that something else works for the other. Everything can become love, love can flow from everything, but from everything there can be anger, coldness, indifference, confusion.

When you have love, you are not afraid

The great thing is to show love! When you have love, you are not afraid. Because the enemy comes, and you look into his eyes and say:

- I love you! There is nothing that could make me afraid of you. And why should I be afraid if I love you, what will you do to me?

Did you see what Christ said? And do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but they can not kill the soul; but fear Him more than He who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna (Matthew 10, 28). For example, when someone throws out their garbage under your window, or makes a noise in a high-rise building, or takes something from you, then all this is external. Christ says:

"Do not be afraid, they can not do anything else to you." That's all.

And you can do something much more valuable - to love them. Love them, then. They can not destroy this, because love conquers all fears, makes us free people, and you are no longer afraid of life or death.

You are afraid when there is wine in you. And why is it in you? Because you have not attained to love, but you look at God as a monster, who scolds, punishes, holds a scourge, beats and oppresses you with a sense of guilt. And when you are a sinner, but a humble sinner who feels God's love at the same time, then your sin makes you humble. He humble you, land, and you say: "Oh, my Christ, I'm so bad, but You do love me, do not you? I perform boldness and look at You through tears. My soul is not clean, but I know that You love me! "


[1] See: The memorable tales of the asceticism of the holy and blessed fathers. About Avve Antonia, 32; An ancient patericon. Chapter 17, 1.

Archimandrite Andrey (Konanos), Translated from the Bulgarian Stanka Kosova
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