Monday, December 2, 2013

Meditations on the Winter Pascha - Seeing They Do Not See

As we saw in the last chapter Saint Andrew chose to come and to see who Jesus was. This chapter explores the question of those who come, but who do not see and remain blind to the truth. Fr. Tom points out that Jesus has already told us, through the Prophet Isaiah, that seeing is a matter of a person's will.

The reason, [Jesus] says, is that they love darkness rather than light because their actions are wicked (see Jn 3:19). The light exposes the truth. It allows the reality of things to be seen. The wicked flee reality. They despise the light. They prefer their own blindness, and the delusions that they themselves create. 

I certainly can't speak for others, but I find myself guilty of this more often than I'd like to admit. I choose not to see my own sins and prefer to live in darkness, putting the blame on someone or something else and not on myself. It is easier and more comfortable to look at what is wrong with others than to acknowledge that there is something wrong with my own self.

[The wicked] want to see themselves not as they really are, but as they wish themselves to be. And, together with this, they want a version of others which confirms their own opinions of themselves. And, most especially, they want an image of God that they can handle and manipulate to serve their deluded and illusory purposes for their own profit and pleasure. The lovers of darkness, therefore, are fundamentally liars and idolaters. They are liars abut themselves and about God. They make their own gods, and then fashion themselves in the images and likenesses of the gods they have made. 

It is so uncomfortable to look at myself and really see what is there. In fact, it's much more than uncomfortable - it's truly painful. It is painful to admit my faults and my weaknesses. It hurts to see that I have hurt those that I love. It causes great sorrow to know that I sometimes bring sorrow to others.

But as painful as it is to truly see, I would rather see and know the truth than continue to live in darkness and chaos. I want to be willing to bear what I must if only I can come into the light and gaze upon Christ. The choice remains with each one of us; we are never forced into it. We must decide to either stay as we are, living in delusion, or to come and to see and be transformed by Truth.

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