4th Sunday of Great Lent – St. John of the Ladder
(Mark. 9, 14-29)
“I believe, Lord, help my unbelief”
In today’s gospel passage, the Lord again is seeking faith. Today, even the best things erode the faith. Let us look at what crude souls we have, and what evil is found within us! We hide it, disregard it and we accommodate things by having a simply external, false-belief. It is essential that you recognize your unbelief, so that you might confess it, but as much as depends on you, to also confess your faith: “I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief”. If we run in this way to the Lord, he will give us that which we need: he will heal our souls, will purify them, and we will feel this purification, this resurrection and revitalization of our souls which the grace of God brings.
Can we honestly and rightly say that whatever our soul most deeply yearns for – repentance, healing, purification, sanctification – happened and is happening? For us not to have this, means that we do not want to believe. Man is confused here. Asking forgiveness from God presupposes repentance; Repentance presupposes being conscious that you erreded and are guilty, being conscious that you have responsibility. Put yourself down, judge yourself; somewhere you were deceitful. However, you don’t want to do this. You feel resistance, difficulty, as the spooks that exist within you wake up, all of the sinfulness, and they go to throw you into hell.
We need to enlist all of our strengths and to give them to this work, to this movement: to confess our unbelief, but as much as depends on us, to also confess our faith. And oh the miracle! From this initial moment, we will begin to feel the therapy of our souls, and everyday this will increase more and more However much life God gives to us – a little or a lot – it will suffice, in order for our souls to become sanctified, to be saved eternally.
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos