People sin. People Struggle. People Fall and hopefully when they do they will lift themselves up off the ground and shake off their sins and continue the struggle.
I pray that I can follow these directions within my own soul. God knows I struggle and I fail rather horribly. The hard part for me is enacting mercy amongst others who are in the same (general) boat of sinfulness as I. I understand that we are to forgive others 70 times 7 when they wrong us. That I am clear on. At the same time we have been instructed to deal differently with those who obstinately fight against the teachings of the Church. What do we do with this sort?
Add another area of struggle to the mix. What do you do when said struggle is between the Church and a 18 year old soul who is BRAND NEW to the life of the Church and they come ot Her with a great struggle of self Will and self image. They see themselves and recognize and refer to themselves by their illness, their sin, and as such, through their own choosing, their struggle is between themselves and their very nature attached to a world that tells them that his sin is natural. It IS who he is and there is nothing wrong with it and he SHOULD identify himself as such because it gives him power and authority.
He is 40 days within the walls of the Church and he is talking again (for the 4th time) of leaving the enclave of Salvation because he feels that he is not understood and the struggle is too hard and no one understands and noone supports him. How can we, as Orthodox Christians, believing what we believe to be the Truth of the Faith, say that these things are acceptable and tell him that no matter what he can live this life without consequence?
How do you tell someone that does not think that anyone understands his situation that there are those that do, and that they are willing to help him? How can you get past the wall of pride that is put up in defense of his sinful nature, saying that there is nothing wrong with it all? AND, how do you do it in a manner that does not cause him to run for the door? I realize that the Scriptures gis us a pretty clear distinction on how to handle these things..
“Confront them personally, then bring a witness, and then bring it to the Church. If they do not listen to the church, treat them as you would an unbeliever.”
The thing is, that, over the course of the past year, this has been time and time again and there is a paper trail to prove it (as if one were needed.)
How do you offer healing to a soul that does not think they are sick? You cannot force feed healing to a sick person. They have to see the state of their soul and WANT the healing of the Church. What if they are not at this point? What do you do with them? Do we place the salvation of the many against the struggles of the one? Which is more important? Does that even matter? What should be done if the words of the one could cause the others to stumble?
What a life, what a struggle. Fiat voluntas tua.