Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - June 2002   Last Modified June 16, 2002
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Icon of the Holy Trinity (by John Snogren)
Icon of the Holy Trinity
(by John Snogren)

We Have The Freedom To Love Our God
by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
June 2002


Priest: "Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess"
Choir: "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Trinity one in essence and undivided"
The Holy Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

At a time when there is so much suffering, so many hurts - both physical and mental - the word "freedom" is on the lips of countless thousands. Freedom from racial persecution. Freedom from domestic violence. Freedom from abuse. Freedom from hunger and thirst.... The list goes on, and it is easy for us to relate to it, and indeed to imagine ourselves in such situations.

But there is another aspect to this word: Freedom for all of us who are Orthodox Christians is a means for us to love our Lord God, and to love one another. As Christians we all struggle with the reality of suffering while we are on this earth and seek freedom from it. Our suffering today may not be hunger, but it may be something inside us, resulting from our sinfulness. We are so often captive to our emotions, feelings and attitudes, and need to be set free to live in the light and love that our beloved Lord gives us. So we should piously seek freedom throughout the days of our life. Itís truly possible, so let us begin now, today.

The way to freedom is to recognize that it comes from God, and is given by Him to the humbled heart that truly surrenders everything to His sublime will. So, in other words, we come before our merciful God in great humility, offering up as a sacrifice to Him all the things that bind us, and when we do this we find true freedom and peace within our souls. Anyone who is sorry for their own sins finds His peace and the glorious freedom to love Him. Having been touched by His forgiveness, there is nothing that brings the soul of man more spiritual joy in this world than to love God and oneís fellow-man - our neighbor.

Let us all then humbly come to Christ and begin to know Him. How can I know God? We have already seen Him by the grace of the Holy Spirit. All it takes is for us to humble ourselves and then the Holy Spirit will show our Lord God to us - and then we too will want to proclaim Him to the world.

Every day and every hour of our lives is important and precious, as well as being a blessing from God, and as we prepare ourselves for our own repose in Him we know that the real truth comes from God, by sharing Him with others, and seeking out our salvation. Yes, we have the right to ache for the sufferings of the world - especially the appalling acts of wickedness that we see in our present time. All we have to do is to listen to the reports of wars, and the total destruction of peopleís lives. What has happened to brotherhood, to open-hearted and loving communities and goodwill amongst all men? It is vital that we pray for the world, shed tears for the whole world, that all may repent and begin to know God, live in love, and experience the freedom He offers.

Our Gracious Lord God does not desire the death of the sinner. What He truly loves is the person who repents, as then He grants His grace of the Holy Spirit, in which the soul finds peace and freedom of mind, and even the heart to dwell in God. The Holy Spirit does forgive our sins, as we then find freedom to pray to God with minds free from distractions, thinking on God and living joyfully with Him. What a great blessing for us all, as we now truly have the love of our Lord God!

This, for all loving Orthodox Christians, is true freedom. Let us never forget: without God there can be no freedom. Without our love for one another, no true freedom. Why? Because the enemy agitates the soul with evil thoughts. Let us be on the guard spiritually, and begin to seek this freedom and to love our Lord God, and one another.

Through the prayers of the holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen!

Peace to your soul!

Humbly In Christ Our Lord,

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you!
June 2002
 
Content written/compiled by Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes.
(c)2002 Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes