One of the meanings of the Lent is to purify yourself and become crystal-like, and not to justify yourself if you recognized your sin. Also, another meaning is to offer yourself a sacrifice for others since you are ascending on “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” which we remember its writer today Saint John Climacus that was the abbot of the monastery of Mount Sinai. We have icons that present a ladder, in which monks are ascending towards Christ, some fall from the second step, some from the fifth and others from the twentieth; and when someone obtains humility Christ welcomes him in his lap.
The humble person is the person that saw his defects, admitted them and did not count his advantages and was from this aspect clear in front of others. A person that covers himself from the examination of others is nothing but shy, and hanging on to defects that he see as a part of his personality.
One way of preventing others from examining us, is to see them as we want them to be and not as they really are. This creates an attitude that changes between slander and gossip. Gossip is a defect found in us and we activate it. Slander is a lie that we use to attack another person because we don’t like him or have some reasons to become furious and block him or go away from him to reach schism. By this we would be breaking into pieces Christ’s body whose members are united through Christ the head.
We are not one due to my attraction towards you or your attraction towards me through pure human emotion. Christ is our cohesion and we have no loyalty to anyone. We can also say that we have love towards the person that reflected Christ’s light on his face; who, in his turn reflects it to other people. However, this is not possible except if we destroyed the detestable ego in its loneliness, and discovered the ego of the group which is the spirit of God in Christ’s body.
What is true on all the faithful is first of all true on the servants of the temple because if the grace guided them, they will be able to guide the people. The word of the Lord on himself is applied over those: “I am the good shepherd”. Yes, no priest or bishop can call himself a good shepherd; this is what the just judge will say about him or not. Nevertheless, transparency is a main attitude for clergy so that they illuminate others as much as they can and not shock them. The situation of priests is similar to that of bishops, as Saint Cyprian bishop of Carthage said about them: “the episcopate is one”. It’s bonded through love and trust; and you should first trust your partner in service before assuring your doubts and telling him about them and present your knowledge.
Transparency is to ask him about what he said and about his attitude, and admonish him when necessary. If you heard that he has said something about you, it is ok to admonish him as the Lord said in the Gospel of Matthew: “and if he didn’t hear you tell the church”. The church here refers to beloved partners for you or the bishop that gives birth to us in Christ.
This way we succeed through this transparency and simplicity to become each one in the heart of the other and all in Christ’s heart.
Translated by Mark Najjar
Original Text: “الشفافية” – 2.4.2006Continue reading