воскресенье, 14 марта 2010 г.

we immediately expect that He will allow us to stay by Him, to follow Him, to accompany Him.

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
                      From a retreat
                       7 March 1981
                           ----

The  moment we offer our allegiance to the Lord, we immediately expect
that He will allow us to stay by Him, to follow Him, to accompany Him.
We expect as the reward and as the response for our choosing Him, that
He will choose us as companions from whom He will not be parted. Well,
we  must be prepared for something else, because we do not join Christ
in  order  to stand about around Him or around His place, but to serve
Him where and in the way in which it is more expedient for Him and for
His purpose.

More  than  once  we  can  read  in  the Gospel that someone healed by
Christ,  whose life was transformed by his meeting with Him, wanted to
follow Him, to accompany Him, to cling to Him. And Christ said to him,
'No, go back to your own people. Go away into the world from which you
have  come,  because  it is there that your presence is needed.' It is
enough  for  us  to know God, to know Christ, to know within ourselves
the crushing and transfiguring work of the Holy Spirit. We do not need
more.  If  we receive more we can be grateful for it and marvel at the
privilege,  but our function and our essential privilege is to be sent
by  Christ  wherever  He  needs us, into darkness to bring some light,
where  there  is  hatred  to bring some love, when there is strife, to
bring  some  reconciliation,  where  there  is  pain,  to  bring  some
consolation, and so forth. Our place is where things are wrong. And we
must  go  there,  we  must  be  there so that there is someone in each
situation  who  will  say 'Come, Lord, stand in our midst. Give us Thy
peace.'

I  want  you  to  give thought to this, because all of us all the time
fall  into  a  natural but ugly temptation to treat God as the One who
gives  and who must give. We forget that He is a consuming fire and we
want  to  sit  round a fire and warm our hands. It is not right. If we
have  chosen  Him, if He has been wonderful, so wonderful as to reveal
himself  to  us,  we  can  leave it to Him to give us whatever He will
choose,  but  to live for His sake and for the sake of those for whose
sake  He  has become man, lived and died. Ask yourself questions about
the  way  in which you approach Him in prayer. Is it in His Name or in
yours?  Is  it  for His sake, that He may win His victory over you and
within  you,  or  is it that sweetness and peace and joy may come? Ask
yourself whether to be Christ's has anything to do within you, in your
life, but in your deeper self, in turning away from self-centeredness,
saying to yourself whenever thought of self comes, 'Oh, out of my way,
because  you  are  in  my  way  to  God  and  in God's way to me.' Ask
yourselves  whether  you  relate  to people in God's Name and in their
name  or  in  your  own,  whether  you  can imagine one person in your
surroundings  about  whom  you  can says 'This person, his existence I
contemplate  and  serve  without  a thought of the way in which it may
affect me; or whether all the people who are dear to you, who are your
friends,  who  are your acquaintances, who are your chance meetings in
life, are seen and judged only from your point of view: 'What shall he
do to me? What is this person to me?'
                              ----

 * All texts are copyright: Estate of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

           Metropolitan Anthony of  Sourozh Library
                   http://www.mitras.ru/eng/

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