Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lest we become slaves or hirelings

So with the object of helping this brother and doing all I could to strengthen his faith, I took The Philokalia out of my knapsack.

Turning to the 109th chapter of Isikhi, I read it to him. I set out to prove to him the uselessness and vanity of avoiding sin merely from fear of the tortures of hell. I told him that the soul could be freed from sinful thoughts only by guarding the mind and cleansing the heart, and that this could only be done by interior prayer.

I added that according to the holy Fathers, one who performs saving works simply from the fear of hell follows the way of bondage, and he who does the same just in order to be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven follows the path of a bargainer with God.

The one they call a slave, the other a hireling. But God wants us to come to Him as sons to their Father; He wants us to behave ourselves honorably from love for Him and zeal for His service; He wants us to find our happiness in uniting ourselves with Him in a saving union of mind and heart.

( From Way of the Pilgrim)

When some well meaning  people  propel us with   -" Are You Saved? For If you are not , You go to Hell"  , Don't you want to Heaven ?etc. and point  us to verses from the Bible ,   Some from the Church are perplexed and fall into doubts and join their groups and become  more in fervor to go and convert those within their own families and Church

This teaching from the Way of Pilgrim is something that I wished I had known almost 25 years back   as some thing that felt very meaningful to me ., May this encourage us to turn to Him continually and not fall to such traps. Lord Have Mercy upon us Sinners