04 December 2007

Thou Hast Deceived Me, O Lord!

20:7 Thou hast deceived me, O Lord, and I have been deceived: thou hast been strong, and has prevailed: I am become a laughing-stock, I am continually mocked every day.

20:8 For I will laugh with my bitter speech, I will call upon rebellion and misery: for the word of the Lord is become a reproach to me and a mockery all my days.

20:9 Then I said, I will by no means name the name of the Lord, and I will no more at all speak in his name. But it was a burning fire flaming in my bones, and I am utterly weakened on all sides, and cannot bear [up].

-Jeremiah 20:7-9

Some days, you just know what Jeremiah felt. When people you care about reject the Word of Truth, and you feel as if you can't bear to talk about it anymore because their hearts are hardened against it; it feels like the Lord is making a mockery of you, not giving you any rest from the arguments, nor making any apparent change in the heart of those with whom you are arguing. And when in my strong willed moments, I decide to clamp my mouth shut and say no more, I feel almost about to burst if I don't express the experience of the living Christ who is our God. What are we to do? We are not martyred for our faith, neither are all of us called to the white martyrdom on monastic life, yet we find ourselves often at a crux--at cross purposes between the desire to be silent when we know that our words will not be filled with the necessary humility, and the desire to shout from the rooftops of the joy and fulfillment we find in the path toward union with the unknowable God, through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. What are we to do?

Most holy Theotokos, pray to your Son and our God, that we who are distressed in our hearts because of our own lack of wisdom are granted the knowledge to do His will, and that the law of Love that He has written upon our hearts will be made manifest to all those with whom we speak. Let us not presume to instruct, nor to crusade; let us instead be filled with the grace of the all-holy, pure, and life-creating Spirit, yea, even the Spirit of Truth, that we may know when to sow seed upon the ground of another's heart, rather than casting pearls among the swine. +Amen.

3 comments:

Petronia said...

I have had those moments of realizing that I had cast pearls among the swine. But then I felt the same dilemma: is it something that should have remained in the Secret Place (as Fr Stephan wrote about) or was it right (or at least fine) to have put it out there, despite the backlash?

Petronia said...

I've felt many a time that I've carelessly cast pearls to the swine. I do have trouble discerning what should be kept in the Secret Place (as Fr Stephan wrote about) and what should be joyfully declared (and when) despite rude, if not hostile, reactions.

The prayer is wonderful! I'm going to write it down for myself.

The Hermit said...

I have a friend (well, I have several of them, but this one in particular troubles me presently) who falls into the category of people who desperately want to believe, but cannot make themselves. I have an inkling about what the problems he's having are, but when I have attempted to offer some consolation/instructional anecdotes from similar experiences, it just blows up in my face. And yet, I hate seeing him in the kind of philosophic/world-view crisis that he's going through, especially when I've blazed that trail and have discovered the cure for it. **sigh**

Thanks for the kinds words about my "Holy Mother, don't let me be too much of a jerk" prayer :) It's nothing special, just how I feel, and what I need her help with.

-Justinian