10 February OS 2018: Friday of the First Week of Lent; S. Haralampos, Hieromartyr
The first reading at Vespers today is Genesis 2:20-3:20.
Man’s fall began when his mind accepted a lie, the lie of the devil. Up to that point, his mind had been pure and whole, a brilliant and perfect mirror perfectly reflecting reality. When he accepted the lie of the devil, he broke his mind into countless fragments, and these fragments have broken – and keep breaking – into more and more fragments more and more rapidly, as fallen, unconverted men apart from grace, apart from the Church, grow ever more sinful as the ages pass. Truly, as the psalm says, “Truths have diminished from the sons of men.”
In the Church founded by Truth Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ, God restores the mind of man and enables him to be whole again, in spirit, soul, and body. The saints are they who by grace “…have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him (Colossians 3:10).” What does it mean to be “renewed in knowledge”? Simply put, it means that the saints are the only people who see things as they really are. Even the great pagan philosophers recognized that the passions distort the intellect. Who, then, has a properly functioning intellect, except the man in whom God has cured the passions?
Let us resolve that during this Great Lent, which may be our last, we will immerse our minds in Holy Scripture and some good spiritual reading from ancient or recent Holy Fathers and reliable spiritual writers. Let us cleanse the mind as we also cleanse our will and our desires through cleanly confessing our sins. Let us cleanse our bodies through fasting. Let us cleanse egotism from our souls by acts of active love. Let us partake of the Bread of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ, in Holy Communion, so that Truth Himself will unite Himself organically to our very being.
Then we may begin to see things, at least a little bit, as they really are.