Elder Joseph

Lets us reject both pleasure and pain in this life with all our might in order to be freed from any schemes drawn by passions and from any demonic wickedness. For, we love passions for their hedonistic pleasure and because of pain we avoid virtue”. (Saint Maximus the Confessor, Seven Hundred Chapters on Theology, Third Hundred, paragraph 52) What describes a man’s life without God is how fiercely futility clashes with irrationality with tragic consequences. The wretched man is the victim of this tragedy. He is being dragged without mercy from the instigators of pain and fear to his death, which he alone has shaped when he severed himself from God, from eternal life and happiness. Had the Merciful Lord not put an end to death and the derived sin, there would have never been a more pitiful being than man. The joyful message that “The Word became flesh” (John 1, 14) ended this calamity and transfigured the tools of death into the beneficial sources of life and happiness. “The All Merciful God became flesh in order to draw human nature unto Himself and prevent it from behaving horribly to itself or rather, from rebelling against itself, having being severed in many pieces and being unable to rest anywhere because of the unbalanced movement of its intentions on everything”( As above, paragraph 47).

Here the all-wise Father, as an excellent anatomist, refers to the unbalanced nature of our being and the revolt which takes place against it and for its sake. No one who has the appropriate experience disputes this fact. Where do the reasons, the rules and the ways of this abnormality originate from? The problem started at the very moment man tragically fell. Everything had been originally created as “very good” and all natural and spiritual faculties were in order. It is the delusion of “autonomy” which has guided all the natural motions to the opposite direction, creating thus unnatural operations which are none other than the revolt against oneself and against one’s environment. When man used to perform and move naturally as a proper psychosomatic being, he was also promoting the equilibrium in life and was causing a mutual enjoyment. The fall reversed all these and corruption followed. It was inevitable then, that since man had severed himself from life, from God, to come under the authority of death and ruin and the tools of death to be set in motion. “With pain you will give birth to your children…by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken… (See Genesis 3, 16-29). The penance of disobedience has been fully employed after man severed himself from life and God, and the tools of ruin and death took over. In the place of full godlike joy and pleasure in everything, came pain and sorrow. In the place of life came death.

Was it justified however,…more…


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