Divine love does not tolerate egoism. When we fall we are empty and have no one that is close to us but our own self. We embrace the self and guard it closely, not permitting anyone to insult it, wanting everyone to think well of us. At the same time we do not notice the kind of live we live, what we do, or how we do it. We do not notice because we are so immersed in our selves.
We must despise the self for the sake of God’s love and no only reject “his lordship” [the “self”], but kill him as well. For if the ego is not dead, we cannot become one with God; “his lordship” will always be in the way. Like a nobleman, the ego cannot bow its head but holds it up high at all times. This is why we need humility, we need to become humble and meek.
The Lord has shown us the way we should be: humble, meek, and obedient to His well. But no – we want everything to be according to our own wishes. We torture our own selves, we tire ourselves out and – what have we achieved? The world will not move the way we want it to, which makes “his lordship” very angry because things do not go according to his plan. We torture ourselves because of this, and the blame is ours. We have not humbled ourselves, we have not become one with the Lord. When we look into our hearts we see “his lordship” the ego. When temptations come along and wound us, the wound is a big one. Do you see how much healing is needed, how much humility, how much we truly need to turn to the Lord in simplicity?
The angelic hosts are not enslaved by their thoughts, or by the things of this world. They gaze upon created things, but their thoughts do not become enslaved by them, for the center of their thoughts is in servitude only to the power of God, through which they love all of creation. As for us, when we see an object that attracts us, we immediately become attached to it – this is deadly. If this lasts for a length of time, then this object becomes our idol. An object takes the place in our hearts that belongs to God, no matter whether it is an inanimate object, a living thing, or a person.
The heat is always cold when the thoughts are scattered. It is only when the thoughts are gathered and centered in the heart that the heart begins to burn.
Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
hat tip: Sunday Bulletin ~ Holy Theophany Orthodox Church