SPIRITUAL PAIN

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

SPIRITUAL PAIN

Spiritual pain is nothing else than the deep perception OF OUR SINFULNESS and the realization OF OUR SEPARATION FROM GOD. That is, spiritual pain IS REPENTANCE. Because "there will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil" (Romans 2:9). Therefore, this pain IS THE PAIN OF HEALING, OF CURING AND RELIEF. IT IS THE PAIN OF INNER SERENITY AND HOLY TRANQUILITY. This pain is ‘THE BREAD OF TEARS" (Psalm 79:6) THAT CLEANS AND RELIEVES, THAT BRINGS RECONCILIATION AND REDEMPTION. IT IS THE CONFESSION OF THE SINFUL SOUL: "Put thou my tears before thee [the Lord]" (Psalm 55:9). This pain is the "bursting heart" for the absent Lord, for the privation of His Presence, because of sin. It is what characteristically is mentioned by the Prophet Joel: "And rend your heart: and not your garments" (Joel 2:13).

This BURSTING OF THE HEART indicates CONTRITION and HUMILITY because he who is contrite is the "PURCHASER OF HUMILITY", says Saint John Climacus. This saving ‘bursting’ and ‘rending’ of the heart earns necessarily the mercy of God and abundantly attracts His Holy Grace. Thus man again finds THE TRUE LIFE, because God the Father "has granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18; 14:27; 15:17).

SPIRITUAL PAIN is the Holy Grief of the soul, dripping into it sweetness and tranquility. And this, because substantially, when man truly grieves and mourns psychically, HE IS SEEKING GOD, the Holy Person, the True Life, the inner Grace and exultation, the Divine Presence. SIN DEPRIVES THE SOUL FROM GOD, but with the inner and inmost realization of the sin, THE SOUL AGAIN BECOMES A DIVINE RESIDENCE, THE HABITATION OF THE Holy Trinity. SORROW and PAIN are due TO THE CUTOFF OF A PERSONAL COMMUNION NAMELY THE COMMUNION OF MAN WITH THE Divine Person.

SPIRITUAL PAIN is not psychological perception nor the transgression of some law; it is not a complex of guilt, BUT AN AWARENESS OF DEPRIVATION OF THE Fatherly Presence. The grief of spiritual pain is grief OVER THE LOSS OF GOD. And with the ‘bursting of the heart’ due to holy mourning, THE SALVIFIC COMMUNION RETURNS. Therefore, we might say that this spiritual pain awakens the conscience that seemed to be drugged. Thus there appears in it THE NOTION OF FREEDOM.

After the AWAKENING OF THE CONSCIENCE, man who was a simple individual, now BECOMES A PERSON. And namely "A PERSON NOT SEPARATED FROM PAIN AND GRIEF." Therefore, WHEN MAN ACQUIRES CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS SINFUL SELF, HE REDISCOVERS HIMSELF, HIS TRUE AND ACTUAL SELF, AND RISES UP TO BECOME A PERSON. That is when he becomes different than the others, from the mob–HE BECOMES A PERSONALITY. This, however,, is painful and creates pain of the soul, because it presupposes HUMILITY. The grief of spiritual pain is not a pain of hopelessness, but of A JOYFUL GRIEF. It is the acquisition of joy and of a picture OF THE BEAUTY OF THE PERSON of the Master. This pain is "REJUVENATION OF THE SUFFERING SOUL. It is the "GRIEF OF BEAUTY" or the "BEAUTY OF MOURNING" . It is the "BLESSED JOY-SORROW OF HOLY CONTRITION". It is a daily feast, because "WHOEVER IS UNINTERRUPTED IN GRIEF WALKS ACCORDING TO GOD AND HE NEVER CEASES TO CELEBRATE EACH DAY". Therefore, whoever grieves in a godly way, never ceases to celebrate daily.

Spiritual pain IS A SECOND BAPTISM "IN THE WATER OF TEARS". It is the repetition of the sacrament of Baptism that brings THAT BRING US BACK TO PERSONAL COMMUNION WITH OUR LORD. After the pain of experiencing SPIRITUAL DEATH, that is SIN, "THE SOURCE OF TEARS BECOMES THE GREATEST BAPTISM– A FREE BAPTISM". Thus "blessed joy-sorrow (harmolypi) IS THE FRUIT OF GRACE, IT IS GRACE ITSELF. IT IS THE GIFT OF TEARS OF SPIRITUAL PAIN, OF REPENTANCE, A SAVING (SALUTARY) MARK THAT OUR HEART WAS STRUCK BY HOLY LOVE. THESE TEARS CLEANSE THE HEART AND ERASE GREAT SINS.

When these sins are wiped off, THEN THE SOUL TASTES "CONSOLATION AND SOLACE" from the Holy Spirit, and it feels intimately holy contrition and joy. These tears of spiritual pain are pious tears. They are not some biological symptom, BUT RATHER THE EXPERIENCE OF THE COMING OF OUR LORD INTO OUR HEART. And this experience is felt in the entire person, in every part of his existence. (The word for repentance in Greek is METANOIA, literally meaning CHANGE OF ATTITUDE OR TRANSFORMATION OF MENTALITY). They further show the change OF A STONY HEART into a FLESHY ONE. The "PIOUS TEARS", therefore, are NOT a lament or subbing due to the bitter taste of death, but rather THE TEARS OF JOY THAT THE PRESENCE OF THE Person of God engenders. And at the same time, this is a God-loving sorrow for the previous privation of Divine Grace. Saint John Climacus wonders and says: "I think of the quality of contrition and I am filled with wonder. How can contrition be called grief and sorrow, a mixture of joy and pleasure, just as honey is mixed with wax? And what do we learn from this? THAT CONTRITION IS IN ITSELF A GIFT OF THE LORD. AND IN THE SOUL THAT IS PRICKED THERE IS TRUE PLEASURE, BECAUSE GOD HIMSELF IN A MYSTERIOUS MANNER CONSOLES THOSE WHOSE HEART IS DEEPLY BROKEN AND AFFLICTED. JOY-SORROW SOUNDS LIKE A PARADOX, BUT IT IS NOT. IT IS GOD’S VISIT ITSELF. (source: The Pain. An Orthodox Scriptual and Patristic Approach)

_________________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

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