Letters to Spiritual Children, Part VIII

The Lord wants the salvation of every man but not every person wants salvation in deed. According to their words everyone wants salvation but in their deeds they reject salvation. How do they reject it? Not by sins, for there were great sinners such as thieves, as Mary of Egypt and others. They repented of their sins and the Lord forgave them; in this way they received salvation. Those perish who sin and don’t repent but justify themselves in their sins. This is the most terrible, the most disastrous.

The Lord says, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” [Matthew 9:13] What does this mean? The Word of God says, “there is none righteous, no, not one … they are together become unprofitable.” [Romans 3:10,12] All are sinners and the holier a person the more they see their sins. The Lord came to call to repentance and through this save sinners, that is, those who admit to their sins, repent before the Lord and ask for forgiveness. But the one who doesn’t see their sins or justifies themselves cunningly the Lord rejects. This is how the Lord rejected and judged, already on earth, the Pharisees who considered themselves righteous and even an example for others. It’s a terrible state. May God deliver every person from this.

St. Sisoes the Great asked the angels which came for his soul to pray that the Lord would allow him to live longer to repent.

St. Pimen the Great said, “Believe me, brethren, I shall be cast into the very place into which Satan is cast.” But he (St. Pimen the Great) raised the dead. So it is that every God-pleaser sheds tears for their sins and their unpayable debt before God until their very death.

And we out of self-love hide our sins, justify ourselves and fool ourselves when one foot is already in the grave. M., I say to you again: look through your life and repent in every sin that you realize. Ask with tears, as does the Holy Church, with prostrations: “Grant me to see my own faults.” [Prayer of St. Ephrem] If a person doesn’t see their sins it does not mean that they don’t have any. This means that they are not only in sin but also in spiritual blindness. And if a father confessor or even any outsider accuses us of sin then we need not to justify ourselves but entreat the Lord that He would reveal our sins to us, allow us to repent of them until death and to be forgiven here on the earth.

Before it’s too late occupy yourself with your soul. Stop bustling in vain and ask the Lord to reveal your sins to you and to be able to repent of them. I say again: if you don’t know your sins it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any.

I don’t have anything against you but feel sorry for you. You have always justified yourself as even now. Self-justification and Pharisaism lead one to the bottom of hell. Save yourself! God bless you and K. Save yourselves!

Don’t grieve but be reconciled if the enemy tricks you.