Forgiveness: The hardest and easiest

Lent

Although in the West Lent begins this coming (Ash) Wednesday, in the Byzantine Church the Great Fast (“Lent”) begins tomorrow.

For the duration of the Fast, I’m going to be off social media and I’m also not going to be posting anything here at the blog. I’ll be back on April 16th, Easter Sunday…which also happens to be my birthday 🙂

If you’re looking for something to do during Lent, I’d recommend reading a book of the Bible, Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians in particular. A couple of years ago, I did a video series during Lent on that book of the Bible. You can either watch all the videos on YouTube or check in at the site’s Facebook page where I’ll be uploading the videos several times a week.

In the Byzantine Church, as part of our final preparation for Lent, tonight we celebrate “Forgiveness Vespers”. It is similar to the usual service of Vespers, but we also ask for forgiveness from each other for any hurts we have inflicted upon one another this past year. It therefore seemed appropriate to share in this final post a quotation from my spiritual father, Fr. Nicholas:

“At one and the same time, forgiving is the hardest thing in the world and the easiest. It is the hardest because we don’t want to. It is the easiest when we let Jesus do it”

– Our God Heals, Fr. Nicholas Broadbridge

Wise Words on Wednesday: The God We Discover

Burn

In [our] pain, we discover a God who invites us into a love that set fire to a bush in the desert, forced open graves, and enabled the dead to walk again

– Edith Prendergast

Wise Words on Wednesday: Keeping Up With Your Friends

Swafford

Even though there is a temptation to compare yourself to celebrities and feel completely inadequate, there is a little bit of a buffer between us and them.

But this is not the case when it comes to jumping on social media and endlessly scrolling through your friends’ lives. The buffer is gone: you know these people, and you see them almost every day. The comparing and competing is no longer just a reality TV; this is your reality – and this time there is no excuse in your mind for not “keeping up”

– Sarah Swafford, Emotional Virtue

Wise Words on Wednesday: Time & Place

Swafford

Imagine your relationship is like a grand and beautiful house, and in that house there is a fireplace – massive, oak, ornate and stunning. You put the firewood in the fireplace, light the match, and enjoy the warmth and romantic ambiance. The fireplace is marriage – where sex is not only safe and secure but is an incredible gift from God. The fire is our sexual hunger and intimacy; and if it is not used in its right time and setting, it will actually bring gret harm. So, imagine that beautiful house again with no fireplace in it: if you lit a fire in the middle of your living room, you would burn your whole house to the ground.

– Sarah Swafford, Emotional Virtue

Wise Words on Wednesday: Wrapped In Love

Julian

“God is our clothing. In His love, He wraps and holds us. He enfolds us for love and will never left us go. We are wrapped and held in the embrace of God’s all-pervasive love for each of us, the love that calls us by name, that makes us precious in God’s sight”

– Julian of Norwich

Wise Words on Wednesday: Earth Crammed with Heaven

EarthAndHeaven

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes…”

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Wise Words on Wednesday: Permission By Another Name

Gene Wolfe

“Where there is no repentance, forgiveness is only permission by another name.”

– Gene Wolfe, Pirate Freedom

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