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July - August 2020

OUR MAIN REASON FOR FEELING ABANDONED BY GOD
- Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspol and Brovary

There are several reasons for the feeling of God-abandonment. One of the most common, strangely enough, stems from our desire to attain perfection by our own strength. We get frustrated and we throw up our hands when we become aware of our imperfection. It is easy for an overly demanding person, a spiritual perfectionist, to stumble. He places more hope in himself and his own strength than in the Lord and His help. And this will inevitably lead to the subversion of his strength and spirit and a further fall into despondency.

And despondency is inactive. It paralyzes our will, and we can't move, or we just run in circles.

The root of discontent is pride. It drives us crazy and deprives us of our peace and sanity. Such a person can't allow himself to stumble, can't show weakness; he strives for infallibility, but this is impossible. Our imperfection and infirmities preserve us from arrogance and self-aggrandizement. Sometimes our salvation lies in them. Only the humble helmsman, submitting to the will of He Who created his ship, can bring his ship into the safe harbor prepared for everyone by the Lord.

The awareness of our imperfection is salvific. As long as a man is aware of his imperfection, he is humbled, and, consequently, grows spiritually; but as soon as the sense of your own infallibility in anything arises, even in some small thing, you should be wary. It's a dangerous symptom.

Our whole life is an ascent to God. We are drawn to the glimmer of the Heavenly glory on earth and we strive for the perfection of the Most High. But it is unattainable in its fullness in this temporal life. Full illumination by God and the most perfect knowledge of the Trinity are possible only after bodily death. We need not fear being imperfect; we should fear desiring something more than communion with God-for example, personal, proud perfection.

God is the supreme object of our desires. There is nothing else.

- Translated by Jesse Dominick. Pravlife.org

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