Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Ignorance of Youth

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4.15-16)

Some words from St John Chrysostom, urging us to remember the words of the Psalmist, “Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor of my ignorance; but remember me according to Your mercy, because of Your loving-kindness, O Lord.” (Psalm 24.7 LXX)

“For as the body, so long as it is oppressed be fevers and by one sickness after another, even if it is strong, is exhausted, but when it is freed from this attack, it recovers its proper force, so also the soul in youth is feverish, and is chiefly possessed by the love of glory, and luxurious living, and sensual lusts, and many other imaginations.”

“Truly it is a shame and a mockery, to be adorned outside with gray hairs, but within to have the mind of a child.”

“For the old man is a king, if you will, and more royal than he who wears purple, if he master his passions, and keep them under subjection, in the rank of guards. But if he be dragged about and thrust down from his throne, and become a slave of the love of money, and vainglory, and personal adornment, and luxuriousness, and drunkenness, anger, and sensual pleasures, and has his hair dressed out with oil, and shows an age insulted by his way of life, of what punishment would not such a one be worthy?”

These words (Homily VII on Hebrews) strengthen us during our Great Lenten journey.

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