From the writings of the Elder Sophrony:
Spirtual weeping is an abundance of life springing vigorously from potent love, whereas ordinary weeping prostrates mortal man…. The ascetic Fathers did not weep because they were deprived of temporal goods but they do insist on the necessity for spiritual weeping without which man’s stony heart is incapable of love as taught by the Gospel. The mind of the Christian who weeps is totally directed towards the sphere of Divine eternity. The commandments of Christ refer exclusively to this. A whole multitude of circumstances unacceptable to those living the banal life of this world are disregarded by him who weeps according to God’s commandment. Poverty holds no terrors for him, he will not be dismayed by insults or slights from the sons of this generation, nor by blows of any sort, because not only his mind but his feet, too, are lifted high above ground. He feels compassion for people, sorrow over them before God, but he does not share their interests, inspired as he is by his striving after immutable Truth.
From We Shall See Him As He Is
For anyone who dares write for publication on the internet, there is a dangerous invitation. Unless you establish strict controls (my controls for this Blog are not wide open, but neither are they very tight) you have established yourself as a target. Part of the task of maintaining a blog is clearing out the spam on a daily basis which alone is disheartening because it consists primarily of comments that are seeking to plant links to pornography. Just the names for such links can be sickening.
On other occasions you have people posting who simply make no sense – and I don’t know what to say to nonsense.
I gladly write about Christianity, Culture and even Atheism because I think these are areas where conversation is useful. I am a missionary and I make no apology.
But this also has a way of inviting angry comments (I get the occasional one or two).
Most disheartening are the vituperative comments from Christians. Since I am Orthodox, I am not surprised that a large portion of my readers are Orthodox – and it is probably the audience I have most in mind when I write – that and those who may be interested in learning more about certain aspects of the Orthodox faith. Happily, comments from these readers are generally positive and supportive and are an encouragement to me that I value immensely.
I remain dismayed at comments from Christians which must be deleted either because of their anger, or because reading them would do harm to others. It is not unlike hearing confession. We all bring material to confession that we would prefer not to broadcast or for anyone but God to know – and we would like Him to forget. In such cases there is a ready forgiveness. But I would ask you to pray for those whose comments you will never see (because I will not publish them). May God’s mercy be with the angry, the mean, the misinformed and the violent (at least in language).
A monk once told me, “We need go no further than our own heart to find the cause of all violence in the world.” And it is true. May God help us all and teach us to pray for one another – “those who love us and those who hate us.” May paradise consume us all. Glory to God for all things.
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