My dear ones,
I’m writing to ask for your forgiveness at the beginning of Lent, and to forgive you for any way in which you may have hurt me or the Monastery. May we all be forgiven, may we all be found worthy to rejoice in the Resurrection.
Forgiveness, my dear ones, can be everything. Forgiveness can be our gate to Christ, it can carry us by itself all the way to the Kingdom. It can be our Cross and our Resurrection.
So let us ask for forgiveness and let us offer it abundantly, allowing no limit to endanger our salvation. Remember that the same limit we set in forgiving others is also the limit for the forgiveness we receive.
Keep in mind also that we need to ask forgiveness not only from those physically close to us, those whom we have somehow harmed in a direct way. The deeper harm we do is by not being the saints God created us to be, by not being the salt of the earth, by not using the spiritual privilege of having been guided to the True Faith to help the world stand and not collapse into sin. The deeper sin is wasting Christ’s suffering on the Cross and the grace of the Holy Spirit which was given to us.
Our vocation as Orthodox Christians is so much higher than being good, respectable members of society. Our vocation is to follow Christ on the Cross of sacrificial love for the salvation of all mankind. Our vocation is to be Christ’s tools into the world, His servants, the breathing Temples of His Flesh and Blood.
When we fail to live up to our vocation, we fail not only ourselves, but the whole world and the entire creation. Our failure is echoed in the failure of the world, all the way down to those suffering in hell.
For this, we need to ask forgiveness: in our hearts, in our ‘secret rooms’ we need to prostrate before every human being – living and departed; known and unknown – and ask for their forgiveness for not living up to the height of our vocation, for not reflecting the Light of the Resurrection unto the world.
Christ is Love, my dear ones. Even awareness of our sins is a spiritual gift coming from Him, a proof that He has chosen us as His servants. Rejoice in His Love and ask forgiveness with hope and courage – His forgiveness knows no limit and His desire to save us is beyond words.
May Christ bless us and embrace us, dear ones. We keep you in our prayers as we travel through this Lent. Please remember us in your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
on behalf of everyone at Mull Monastery