See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forty years ago this year.




"Do you not know that God's kindness to you is an invitation to you to repent?" - Rom. 2:4

Forty years ago this year I experienced a profound, life changing conversion...

But it was only the beginning.  Since then...  Well, as I look back, all I see is infidelity and failings more numerous than I would like to relate.  I've dedicated this year to the work of conversion, since time is short, the day is far spent... although I don't like to admit it. 

Anyway, I found the following, which might help me to be more intent upon trying to remove the log in my own eye, as opposed to my misguided attempts to remove the speck from my brother's eye...

"If you want to be a true, zealous son of the Church, you can do so in fulfillment of the commandments of the Gospel in regard to your neighbor. 
Do not dare to convict him.
Do not dare to teach him.
Do not dare to condemn or reproach him.
To correct your neighbor in this way is not an act of faith, but of foolish zeal, self-opinion and pride.  Poeman the Great was asked, 'What is faith?'  The great man replied that faith consists in remaining in humility and showing mercy;  that is to say, in humbling oneself before one's neighbors and forgiving them all discourtesies and offences, all their sins.

As foolish zealots make out that faith is the prime cause of their zeal, they must express themselves in humility regarding our neighbors and in mercy towards them.  Let us leave the work of judging and convicting people to those persons whose shoulders is laid the duty of judging and ruling their brethren.

'He who is moved by false zeal', said St. Isaac the Syrian, 'is suffering from a severe disorder.  O man, you who think to use your zeal against the infirmities of others, you have renounced the health of your own soul.  You had better bestow your care on the healing of yourself, and if you want to heal the sick, know that the sick need nursing, rather than reprimand... 'You who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak' (Rom. 15:1) ... 'Correct a sinner in a spirit of meekness and gentleness.' (Gal. 6:1)" - The Arena

Art:  Christ liberating the prisoners of Dachau.  This is behind the altar in the Resurrection chapel built by the Russian Orthodox Church on the grounds of Dachau.  I posted it because I like it and it expresses a certain hope and confidence in the Divine Mercy, and the power of the Resurrection.

10 comments:

  1. I've never seen that icon before. It's very powerful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  2. Well said! Happy anniversary!

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  3. But but but... that's being so spineless.

    merwr

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  4. So, where does that leave fraternal correction?

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  5. Merc - I suppose you could do it with great meekness and humility, as the author says - but what if it turns out Gingrich wasn't as bad as Marianne says?

    Big smile on my face right now.

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  6. Yeah, I guess you're right. certainly don't like to correct, and in any event, I cannot be the one to do so with many people I know, simply because they'll see me as hypocritical. Some people really get off on it.

    As far as Gingrich is concerned - I may be gullible, but I do believe his conversion was sincere. He's not denying his past, nor is he saying it was alright.

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  7. I think you are probably right about Gingrich. I doubt he will ever be president however.

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  8. If Romney is the nominee I might not vote. He's such a "chosen" candidate who stands for nothing, and he'd be proof that the system really sucks.

    Anyway, it's not foregone - Santorum won Iowa, and we'll see what happens in the next few states.

    In any event, I think Ron Paul will go third party and play Ross Perot, ensuring Obama's reelection.

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  9. The great thing about conversion experiences is that even though we fall many, many times after them, we can go back to memories of the original experience, bask in its glow, and get back on track. Happy Anniversary.

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  10. Jim - good advice - thanks.

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