Monday, March 22, 2010

The goal is "Nothing"?

So, what is this inner ascent we are called to undertake?  It at times seems like such an uncertain and difficult path towards an unreachable goal.  Most of us cannot even imagine what it must be like to see and feel the presence of God working within us though all the members of our body.  When we start on the Orthodox path by subscribing to the Orthodox Way of Life, we are motivated with a strong desire, great zeal, to overcome our blindness and to become in full union with God, to share in His glorious light.  In the beginning had only a glimpse of this more perfect union with God. But this ws enough to set our soul on fire motivating us to change our way of being thorough God's help in the Church. We became aware that we needed to take action on our own way of life to get rid of the sinfulness of which we became acutely aware. We struggled and struggled. We found that this is the nature of the path.

Saint Theophan tels us that this inner ascent leads us to the "revelation and appearance to our consciousness of God's work in us."  It is no more than our work of salvation and purification, he tells us.
"The zealot becomes enlightened about this reality through frequent failures met in spite of all his efforts, and unexpected and great successes met without particularly trying.  Mistakes and falls are especially enlightening as they bereave us of grace.  All of these bring a man to the thought and belief that he is nothing, while God and his almighty grace are everything."
This is the final destination, the realization that we are "nothing." 

Saint Theophan says, 
"It is not possible unless the person comes to feel that he is nothing."

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