Thursday, December 24, 2009

Remembering God

In the book The Mountain Of Silence Father Maximos describes five illnesses of the heart: ignorance, forgetfulness, imprudence, blindness, and contamination. He then says:

All illnesses of the heart are interconnected. However, the primary illnesses out of which spring all the others are ignorance and forgetfulness of God. Whenever human beings make contact with the inner self and discover the divine reality within, they automatically get healed from all the heart's illnesses. This is the real healing of the self." p.65

A little earlier Father Maximos had said, "Whatever the causes for such behavior, the individual is not aware that he will die soon and his wealth and social position are useless. He does not have mnemen thanatou, memory of death. The heart is imprudent. It suffers from folly." p.65

It seems to me that what happens is that when we forget God we loose sight of what matters. Knowing what matters is my definition of wisdom. When we loose sight of what really matters we become lost, pre-occupied, anxious, depressed, angry, and even ruthless and abusive.

I often forget what really matters and frustration and cynicism fill my heart. As I have gotten older, I remember more often that I will die soon. This is a gift because it keeps me more focused on the God within. Each day is a gift, each moment to be treasured. When I remember God within there is a lightness that comes into my soul and I settle down.

AS I learn more about Father Maximos' ideas about spirituality I think he is right that what ails us most as human beings is that we are impure in heart. This impurity is based on an ignorance and forgetfulness of God. If we remembered God within we would have a much better world for ourselves and each other.

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