суббота, 20 августа 2011 г.

not in the divine power only, but in divine compassion

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
             "I believe, Lord, help my unbelief"
                      21 JULY 1996

In today's Gospel, as in other parts of the New Testament, we see men,
women and children coming or being brought to Christ, in the hope that
they  will  be  healed  —  healed of their physical disease, healed of
misery, of pain, of agony of life. And every time Christ says to them,
"Dost  thou believe that I can do this?” And on this occasion, the man
who  was asked about it concerning his ill son said, 'I believe, Lord,
help my unbelief’. But if we believe that Christ our Lord has power to
save,  there is more to it, because what we are expected to believe is
not in the divine power only, but in divine compassion.

The text of today's Gospel speaks of mercy. Mercy means tenderness, it
means  caring, but beyond this, there is this very great, and in a way
frightening  word, ‘compassion’, which means readiness, and indeed not
only readiness but reality of suffering together, of carrying together
the whole suffering of another person. And indeed this is what God has
done  in His incarnation. He has taken upon Himself not only the human
nature  with all its frailty, but all the pain, all the suffering, all
the  agony  of  each of us. And if we turn to Him, asking for healing,
for  help,  what we really mean to say is, 'I believe, Lord, that Your
love  is  such  that  there  is  no pain of mind, no agony of mind, no
suffering  of body which You do not participate in. Yes, You have been
crucified,  sharing  not  only  our death, but the pain which sears at
every  heart and tears every limb.' Can we turn to God in our need and
say,  "Lord,  I  believe in Your compassion. I believe that whenever I
suffer,  justly  or unjustly, for my own fault or not, You suffer with
me,  You  share  my agony; and beyond this, Your agony is greater than
mine, because You know, more than I do, about what I could be, in body
and soul.'

And  so when we are in need of divine mercy or divine help, let us not
simply  turn  to  Him  and  say,  "Lord, I am in need and You have the
power”,  let  us  turn  and  say,  “I  know,  Lord,  that  there is no
suffering, no pain, no agony which You do not share with me; I worship
Your  love, I bow down before Your crucifixion, I accept the horror of
Your  sharing  all  my  suffering,  and,  because  I  believe  in Your
compassion  so  profoundly,  so  entirely,  grant  me to share in Your
wholeness”. Amen.

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

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