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Sin and Choice of Self

“…sin indicates spiritual illness…God never departs from us. It is we who depart from Him. It is we who become spiritually ill through sin. It is we who need to be cured and restored.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“And so it was with Adam: ‘I’m over here, hiding, because I was afraid to see you, because I’ve sinned. I’m afraid that you wouldn’t accept my excuses; that you’d say it was all my fault. I was afraid that you would no longer acknowledge me as your child.’ To be sure, Adam’s desire to justify himself, the various excuses he contemplated, were the signs of certain death. And This is why St Makarios says: ‘When Adam fell away from God, he died spiritually.’ Seeking to justify himself, Adam condemned himself to life without God. Until then, the damage wasn’t fully done; the blow could have been blunted, the tragedy averted. This was the critical moment, which we all must face, when it becomes clear whether we’ll choose God or our self. As a general rule, we choose our self. Every day we repeat the sin of Adam. He fell when he opened his soul to the poison of the serpent, but there was still hope that he might turn and embrace God. He could have raised his arms to God and cried: ‘God, I am your voice, your self-expression; I am your creation, your child, and I have sinned. Bend down and hold me; save me before I perish completely!’ Instead, he said, in effect: ‘What do you want, God? Have you come here to judge me?’” (Archimandrite Aimilianos)

“… the root of our obstinacy in sin. It is, as it turns out, almost painfully simple: we spend our lives seeking after whatever it is that we love. And as long as we love our own pleasure or power or praise, or anything else of ourselves or of this world, it will remain absolutely impossible for our lives to change. No matter how much we might try to force ourselves, it remains inevitable that – as our Lord said – “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” (Luke 6:45). We cannot simply choose to stop sinning; instead, we must choose to stop loving all the many things that cause us to sin. We must renounce all the inner hungers, the deep and hidden desires, that draw us away from God.” (Hieromonk Gabriel)

“…we are pretty powerless in the face of temptation and the allurements of this world mislead us constantly, so we need God’s help, aid, intervention to be able to do the good – as Christ Himself told us (John 15:5)…though we sin against God, we don’t deny Him or His existence. We do fail God constantly, and yet we admit this and humble ourselves before Him begging His mercy since He also has been proclaimed as the God of mercies and the God of those who repent (Manasseh :13). So, it turns out by God’s own Word that He is the God of sinners too – sinners in need of His mercy, seeking His salvation, forgiveness and mercy. It is God who makes us worthy of God’s mercy and salvation – it is not our effort that makes us holy. It is honest for us to admit this and to place ourselves at His mercy and God of mercy will save us…” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“If we recapture for a moment the existential content of the fall, to which reference was made earlier, sin reveals itself not in the form of a juridical relationship between God and man, but mainly as a perversion of personhood, leading through man’s idolatrous introversion towards created being alone, to the opening up of the abyss of nothingness, that is, to the division between the two natures, divine and human, which were meant to be in communion, and hence to death because of the incapacity of nature to refer itself to God in its integrity.” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas)

#DrEugeniaScarvelisConstantinou #ArchimandriteAimilianos #HieromonkGabriel #FrTedBobosh #MetropolitanJohnZizioulas

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