TEXTS – ORTHODOXY
Who cannot be saved?
Fr. Andrew Konanos, Greece
To feel Christ among us, to feel His love, to enjoy His presence, His warmth and care, His image. To communicate with each other in an atmosphere of love and unity.
Why do not we indulge ourselves in such pleasant exercises? You and me… Indeed you only live once… After all, you do want to be saved. Me too. Who does not? A person’s will plays a great role in it. If one does not want something, how will it happen? Remember that Christ, before performing a miracle, asked the person, “Do you want to become healthy?” Do you want to feel well? Do you want to be saved? Do you really want Me to give you the gift you are asking for? This is what you say you want, but is it really something that your heart wishes? Christ asks, “Do you want to join paradise and joy?” If we say that it is what we want, it will be so. Yes, we want this. We want to join the Light. We want to join Christ. We want to join God. We want to join the happiness and joy of paradise. Sometimes, however, there are difficulties on the way to paradise.
Complex personality takes us away from this path. We upset our close ones. We do things that irritate others. How can one be saved? There is no place for aggressors who make life difficult for others in Heaven. I do not know if you are like this.
Of course, there are many people like this. And they are practicing Christians. Those who know them speak badly of them, “They are very irritable, my child, they suppress others.” They constantly teach others in an annoying fashion. If they see you, they immediately start to preach, “You should change! You should give up this and that.” They constantly make other people suffer. But the one who is an aggressor cannot be saved. After all, he or she always hurts their neighbor. How will they be able to see the image of God?
God is absolutely free and He respects our choice. He respects our actions, our freedom, and our time. He never pushes anyone. With absolute respect, He awaits the moment when each of us freely decides and wishes to deliberately think about certain things.
Christ Himself is a living example of respect and freedom. So how can we force ourselves to live in His Name? Christ led a quiet and ordinary lifestyle. For 33 years. His life was peaceful and quiet. From a secular point of view, it was unimpressive. His goal was not to agitate us. He also brought neither earthquake nor turmoil. He did everything peacefully and quietly. He was the Son of God, in other words God Himself, in a human form. He was humble. He never caused any trouble, was not an aggressor, and did not demand anything. He always said, “Who wishes. If you wish. If you love Me. If you feel My love. If your time has come. If you feel that you are ready.” Christ behaved this way and thus showed us the criteria of life and morality.
From the book by Andrew Konanos, “Marriage Has Its Own Difficulties”.
Translated by pravmir.com
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD