Looking Backwards/Looking to the Past

September 26, 2019

“St. Paul points out that God made His promises to Abraham, promises that would eventually come to their fruition in the person of Jesus Christ, before He gave the Law [Galatians 3:15-22]. From this, St. Paul shows that though sin and the resulting condemnation are real, and repentance is necessary, that God's grace and the inheritance of the Kingdom that we receive in Christ is far, far greater than that condemnation. It is often difficult as Christians to keep both of these poles in mind at once. Some struggle under a heavy burden of felt condemnation, even after confessing sins and receiving absolution, unable to forget the past. Some seek to constantly dwell in the warm glow of God's Love but do so by ignoring or papering over their sinfulness and actions they are taking that are harming themselves and others.’ (Father Stephen De Young)

 

“Last year is past, gone, finished. It is over. In the heart and mind of God, the year ahead is intended to be a fruitful season, advantageous, beneficial, auspicious. It is a time of fulfillment at the hand of Him who keeps promises Is 61:2). Maybe the problem in the past was that we were looking for advantages and benefits in the wrong place. Christ our God yearns to comfort and recompense us for all that we have lost because of our sins or the sins of another (Is 61:2).” (Dynamis 9/26/2019)

 

“To be involved with God the first thing each day centers us on what is important. In addition, it helps us to be awake to the day stretching out before us, one which may be our last. And finally, morning silence and solitude can enable us to better come to our senses and be in the now. This is especially important so we don’t miss those interpersonal encounters that might bring us closer to God if we weren’t nostalgically reflecting on the past or preoccupied with the future.” (Robert J. Wicks)

 

“…knowing God puts life in perspective, allowing us to release the mistakes of the past and the worries of the future.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

 

“Through the forgiveness of sins in confession, the past is no longer an intolerable burden but rather an encouragement for what lies ahead. Life acquires an attitude of expectation, not of despondency; and confession becomes the way out of the impasse caused by sin.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)“Looking back­wards would seem to imply the fate of Lot's wife (Genesis 19.26); 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9.62). God Him­self is revealed before us and walks in front of us. "One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead" (Philippians 3.13).” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

 

“Looking too much to the past and hanging on to it at the expense of moving forward is dangerous to our mental well-being and spiritual growth. Lot’s wife looked to her past and turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters escaped destruction by continually moving forward.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

 

 “The worst battle we fight is in the mind. If you live in the past you will never be the person you are supposed to be in your future.” (Robert Osborne)

 

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward…We must try to take life moment by moment. The actual present is usually pretty tolerable, I think, if only we refrain from adding to its burden that of the past and the future. How right Our Lord is about “sufficient to the day.” (C. S. Lewis)

 

“Our doubts and worries rob us of so much. They make the small shadows on the wall into huge phantasms about to swallow us whole. But the truth is that much of what we fear are either illusions or are realities that are not as terrible as we imagine…Too often we live not in the present but in the past or a feared future. If our eyes were truly open, we would see that our world is not as dark as we think it.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

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