Friday, 12 October 2012

Saint Nikodemos The Hagiorite-Sin Wrongs God in Three Ways

                      Saint Nikodemos The Hagiorite 
Consider first how your sins have wronged God.1)By your sins you have offended and dishonoured the Most High and Great God-you who are but a worm have offended and dishonoured the Almighty One,you who are but clay have offended and dishonoured the Maker of all,you who are nothing have offended and dishonoured the Infinite Being-because you transgressed His law:Through breaking the law thou dishonourest God"(Rom.2:23).
2)By your sins you have shown yourself to be a thankless slave and son to such an all-good Master and to your most-affectionate Father,who loved you before the ages,not on account of some worthiness of your own,but only on account of His goodness did He decide in His Divine mind to create you, when He could have created others instead of you.You have wronged Him because you have shown yourself to be thankless to the God Who granted you being.Who formed you in His image and likeness,Who gave you a body containing all of the senses and a soul with all of the faculties,Who made you king of all earthly creatures,Who has provided you with sustenance,clothing,and shelter,Who commanded all of His sensible creatures to serve you,Who has saved you from so many dangers,illnesses,and poverty that so many others suffer from,Who gave you an angel to stand by you always and protect you.
You wrong God because you have shown yourself to be thankless to your great Benefactor,Who ordained it that you be born of Christian parents,Who received you so many times at His mysteries,Who made you his son through Holy Baptism,Who redeemed you from the hands of demons,Who became a man for your sake,Who shed His blood to the last drop in order to make you an heir of His kingdom,Who  so many times waited for you to repent after you sinned,while condemning many others who had committed lesser sins than your own,Who followed you when you fled from Him,Who knocked at your heart when you did not want Him,Who spoke to you,loved you,pleaded with you,desiring your salvation.
In brief,you wronged God because you have shown yourself to be thankless to such a Master,Who bestowed upon you so many blessings of nature and of grace,in part and in whole,hidden and manifest,and the worst thing of all is that,at the same time that you received all of these graces before your eyes,you, the ungrateful creature,dared to repay Him with your wicked acts.
O my sinful brother!If someone were to give you only a single one of all these blessings,you would not know how to thank him.But,when not a man,but the Most High God,the Creator of all the angels,has bestowed so many graces upon you,how is it that you,on the contrary,show yourself to be so thankless toward Him?Wonder,my brother, wonder at how the earth has carried you and has not yet split asunder to swallow you alive.Wonder at how the sky has not yet hurled lightning bolds in order to scorch you;how the air,which you have polluted by your sins,has not yet blown noxious winds in order to poison you,and how all of the elements have not yet risen against you like beasts in order to swallow you alive,unable to endure seeing you,the apostate and insidious one,to display such thanklessness by your sins toward their Creator and your utmost Benefactor:"Perverse and crooked generation,do ye thus requite the Lord?"(Dt.32:5)
3)You wronged God,because by your sins you committed an unheard of injustice and mockery against the redemption which the Son of God accomplished for you,for you placed Him on the Cross a second time,you stomped on His love,you profaned His All-Holy Blood,you insulted the grace of His Spirit,you opened His wounds,you renewed the spittings,the slappings,the crown of thorns,the scourgings,the nails,the spear,and all of the sufferings and humiliations,because you committed sin,which was the cause of His Crucifixion:"They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh,and put Him to an open shame"(Heb.6:6),says the divine Paul.
O my brother,if you carefully consider these three spears by which you wounded God through sinning,I am certain you will roar and growl like a lion on account of your sighs:"I have roared from the groaning of my heart"(Ps.37:8),and you will hate and be disgusted with sin,and your heart will be broken into a thousand pieces,even if it was calloused and hard as a rock,and you will cause it to shed tears of blood.Therefore,as much as possible,concentrate and meditate upon these three points in order to acquire holy contrition(Humility),which is the noblest and most precious part of repentance,being sad for no other reason than because you sinned against God and grieved the Holy Spirit,according to the Apostle."And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God"(Eph.4:30).
This is why David was not grieved on account of the other injuries which sin brought upon him,but only grieved because sin caused him to wrong God,even considering all of the harm he brought to himself and to others,wherefore he said:Against Thee  only have i sinned and done this evil before Thee"(Ps.50:4)Likewise,Manasseh was grieved only because he wronged God,and his heart never found rest,wherefore he said:"I have no relief,for i have provoked Thy Wrath and have done what is evil in Thy sight,not doing Thy will,and not keeping Thy commands"(Mt.1:10).

Taken From the book by Saint Nikodemos The Hagiorite"Exomologetarion,A Manual of Confession"

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