Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We Orthodox take sin seriously.....

......really we do......

I only point it out because I've heard some folks say otherwise.  Please note that the following is edited for brevity -- this could go on for quite a while if I posted all of it:

I have wasted my whole life with harlots and publicans.
Will I be able to repent of my many sins even when I grow old?
I cry to You, the Creator of all and Healer of the sick:
“Before I utterly perish, save me O Lord!”

I cry to Thee, O Lord; I say: “You are my hope, my portion in the land of
the living.”

Weighed down with indifference, I wallow in sin.
Pierced by the devil’s darts, I have defiled Your image in me.
Yet You convert the heedless and save the sinful.
Before I utterly perish, save me O Lord!

            Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low!

I have become a stumbling block.
Born of earth, I have remained attached to earthly things.
Wed to Your commandments, I transgressed them and defiled my bed.
Yet do not despise the creature whom You formed of earth,
but before I utterly perish, save me O Lord!

            Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!

Obsessed with the flesh, I have murdered my soul.
I have become the demons’ toy, the slave of lusts.
In Your compassion, spare me! Put the demons to flight!
Before I utterly perish, save me O Lord!

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to Your name!

More than all men I have willfully sinned,
and this has left me helpless and forsaken.
As the enemy of my own soul, I have carnal thoughts that darken it.
O Light of those in darkness, Guide of all who go astray:
“Before I utterly perish, save me O Lord!”

The righteous will surround me; for You will deal bountifully with me.

-- from the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, 5th Sunday in Lent


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

There seem to be at least 3 reasons people imagine Orthodoxy is light on sin.

1) They believe Adam and Eve were perfect, as if they had already attained to theosis, while the teaching of the Church is that they were spiritual infants.

2) They hold to total depravity, believing there is absolutely nothing good or of worth left in man, whereas the teaching of the Church is that the likeness to God is all messed up, but the Image remains.

3) They overlook the role of satan and view Adam and Eve as sheer criminals, while we are taught they were both perpetrators AND victims.

David Garner said...

I tend to view (1) and (3) as tied together. I think in my experience (2) is the most common issue.

I also think, though, that the bulk of the folks I've heard say this have either never attended an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, or did not pay close attention to what was said. I read it frequently as a Protestant and believed it. That changed when we attended a Liturgy, and it's really been hammered home since that we take sin extremely seriously.

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

The monk pictured went to Pitt with my son Fr. John.

David Garner said...

Wow, Father -- how amazing is that? Small world!

I forgot where I pulled the photo from. Probably a Google search. I recalled that Orthodox monasteries keep the relics from their departed brethren, and probably just did a search for something along those lines.