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Wisdom from the Fathers
05-04-2010, 09:49 PM
Post: #11
 
Glad you like it; it is a wonderful homily, and it was nice to have the excuse to engage closely with it.

It raises the whole question of repentance and redemption in a form which engages some of us very closely for obvious reasons. St. Isaac the Syrian maintains we cannot understand the extent of God' love and mercy.

Sometimes this is read as a soft-centred view of the Gospel, and some pastors have shied away from him because of the fear that people would think that they could sin all they like and, as long as they repented at the end, it would all be OK. But that isn't what St. Isaac, or Theophilus here, or St. John Chrysostom are saying. Certainly, as the Lord said, the labourer who comes for the last hour will receive the same reward as he who has laboured since the first, but that isn't a call to postpone repentance; it is a promise that we shall be received when we repent and amend our lives; and, of course, the sooner we do that the better for our relationship with God. We can't grow in that relationship if we neglect it; like all our relationships, it needs us to work on it.

But it is a balm to those of us who know we have sinned and are marred by it. He can, will and does forgive us. But, of course, our salvation is a process. We have been saved through our baptism and chrismation; we are being saved through our repentance and the sacraments; and we shall, through His mercy, be saved at the last when He judges all - or so we are bold enough to hope through Christ Jesus.

And this, when we stumble and fall, is the greatest encouragement. We know that, like Dismas the thief, we can be received into the kingdom, though we have been stained by our sins, for His blood washes us clean. How much better that than the counsel of despair which says that we are so lost and depraved that we are damned.

We can damn ourselves by rejecting Him, or so it seems, although Mar Isaac suggests that at the end who can resist His love. But this is love - that He loved us first - even though He knows us. Knowing that, we can be encouraged to grow in Him.

peace and prayers,

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Quote


Messages In This Thread
Wisdom from the Fathers - John Charmley - 04-04-2010, 08:46 AM
[] - DanielM - 04-04-2010, 10:54 PM
Part II - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 10:40 AM
Part III - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 10:57 AM
Part IV - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 11:37 AM
Part V - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 02:16 PM
Part VI - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 02:47 PM
The text - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 03:01 PM
[] - DanielM - 05-04-2010, 09:36 PM
[] - John Charmley - 05-04-2010 09:49 PM



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