Saturday, November 06, 2004

I am really depressed.

This is something which typically does happen to me when I'm reading stuff concerning the end of the world. The thing which scares me most, at present, is the things which I think could decieve me when the end is coming.

For instance, I was reading an Orthodox website tonight, and I didn't realize that the Antichrist is going to dwell in the rebuilt temple, at least metaphorically. I just thought the rebuilding of the temple was a sign of the end. I did not think that whoever was in the temple was going to be Christ, but I had no idea it would be the Antichrist's seat of authority. It makes sense of course, because he will be the messiah to the unbelieving Jews. I'm scared. 'Watch ye therfore, for ye know not when the master cometh', I am scared.

All the things I don't know. And yet, with a simple Orthodox understanding, the vast majority of things which even the Othodox great ones of recent times have pointed out as alarming signs of the imminent nature of the Apocalypse, are dispelled. But I fear the subtlety, I fear the Antichrist will be so (i want to insert an explative here) clever that I will be led right into the lake of fire. I'm scared.

I read in an article by Hiromonk Seraphim Rose about a woman who, near the end of comunist rule in Russia, was institutionalized by the state authorities for crossing herself in public. They tried all sorts of things to get her to stop, though she held on strong. A group from a church learned about her plight and came to the hospital and talked to the doctors. Eventually the doctors admitted they had no laws saying they had to or even could keep her there, and they released her.

The woman, when speaking of her captivity to the churh members who got her out, said that while she was captive, she felt calm. As though there were a presence with her. But now that she was out, she was nervous about it happening again.

Part of this I take to be the human condition of simply not feeling as bad about a bad thing once it has actually begun to happen, as we do while we are waiting for it to happen. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak, is worse than all the hell that follows.

While I do not claim or even think that the tribulations of the End of All Times will be less excruciating than the waiting for them, at least once they have begun, that feeling of anxiety, of wondering when it will happen, will then be aleviated. Honestly, in my human condition, as I am now, I fear the rack less than I fear living a long life. I do now know what horrors would be visited on me in a chamber with nobody but myself and the workers of torment, but Christ would be with me, because I would be suffering for his sake. Outside I am not suffering, and my prayer life is weak, I am sinful, and I am neglectful of the blessings I have been given. I am so base as to stay up late at night and then collapse into bed because I am too tired to do my prayers. This is not as freequent as it used to be, and I am doing better about it, but to my shame, it is fear of the End that is scaring me into line. I do Love you Lord Christ, and I do not desire to dissapoint you, bring me suffering rather than let things be so easy that I forget you.

Even as I sit and write these things, I fear the loss of my comfortable place in the secular world. But make me fear hell more. Make me fear not the loss of anything corporeal, Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Son of God whom died upon the Cross as a sacrifice to break the power of Sin I am scared that my humanness will make me wind up in Hell. Break it away from me, burn it off, take my life apart in wreckage that i might praise you only and have no other recorse than to exhalt you or die. Free me from these things which imprision my spirit in my flesh, teach me not to care for things of this world, and teach me to live for the Kingdom which is to Come. Teach me not to fear the flames of fire and the ache of famin, teach me not to hate but to love those that annoy me and cause me irritation. Teach me to pray for my enemies now, in the here and now, that I am not caught unawares when the hour of darkness decends upon the earth and the Sun sheds no more light and the moon is as blood. Forgive me my many weaknesses which I embrace of my own wickid free will. Break me of my attachments to this place which is the physical earth and not the Kingdom Which Is To Come and Never Perish.

Break me as with a rod of Iron, that I may be humble and contrite. Make me to be more obediente to thy statutes and less attentive to that which the world which is wickid and fallen, has taught me to love.

Direct my mind away from fanciful fantasys and from yearning for things which are not in the here and now which I do not need. Break my thoughts instead of allowing them to surface in my brains when they are not directed at Your Glory. Deprive us not of Thy Heavenly Kingdom, but as Thou camest among Thy disciples, O Savior, giving them peace, so come to us and save us!


Alexey the Sinner.


Blogger Eric John said...

Dear Alexis,

Our humanness will not bring us to hell, but rather to heaven because of the Incarnation. We are now inseparably bound to God.

Once, St. Silouan was very scared and depressed, thinking about people having to suffer in hell. The Lord appeared to him and said, "Silouan, every person who has called on Me at least once, I will have mercy on." And Silouan asked, "Lord, and what about those who strive and suffer for You?" The Lord said, "They will be my friends. The others I will simply have mercy on." So, really, there's nothing to worry about.

Each person has passions and temptations which could lead to complete despair. We try to fight against them and fail and so become more depressed. Instead, we need to accept that our desires are at times evil, but all the same move toward God. We won't make any progress if we spend more time trying to avoid evil than we do striving for God.

God help you.

St. Alexis the Man of God is one of my favorite saints.

10:48 PM  

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