Orthodox Thought for the Day


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As light as lifting four strands of hair

Saint Kosmas the Aitolian used to say: 

Brothers, if you want to cure your souls, you need four things!  Shall we make an agreement?  From the time you were born until now, whatever sins you committed, I will take on my back, if you’re willing to lift only four strands of hair in exchange!  Is that too heavy or hard for you?  And what will I do with your sins?  I have a bottomless pit and I will throw them in!  What is this bottomless pit?  It is the compassion of Christ. 

The first hair is:  when you want to confess your sins, the first foundation is to forgive your enemies.  Do you do this?  If you do, you have lifted the first strand of hair.

The second hair is:  find a good, educated, and virtuous spiritual father to whom you can confess your sins.  The time to be ashamed is when commit sin.  When making your confession you should not be ashamed.  When confessing, tell all your sins clearly.  First, say to your spiritual father, “Father, I will go to hell because I don’t love God and my brothers with all my heart, as I love myself.”  Have you done this?  Then you have also lifted the second hair. 

The third hair is:  when you have confessed your sins, the spiritual father will ask you, “Why, my child, did you commit all those sins?”  Be careful not to accuse others!  Accuse only yourself and say, “I have done them through my own wicked will; I am to blame.”  Is it too much for you to accuse yourself?  It isn’t?  Then you have lifted the third hair, also. 

Now we come to the fourth hair.  When you finish confessing your sins, and your spiritual father gives you his blessing and you leave, decide with a firm resolve and decision that it is better to die, better to shed your blood in martyrdom, than to fall again into sin.  Do you do this also?  If yes, you have lifted the fourth hair as well. 

These are your remedies, brother.  As light as lifting four strands of hair!

No comments:

Post a Comment