We do not choose our cross — but accept the Cross of Providence.
Choosing a cross can lead to faint heartedness.
St Ambrose of Optina: “No better rule of prayer than that given us by the Publican — ‘Lord have mercy on me a sinner.'”
Two steps toward repentance:
1) sever ties with the world
2) find the heart/unity with God.
Faith & repentance = Church’s condition for baptism (2nd birth).
Our third birth is accomplished by ourselves: tears of repentance.
Repentance contains all the virtues.
Repentance breaks down the walls surrounding the heart.
Mingle prayer with tears — even if they’re psychological, make them spiritual.
Through repentance, man becomes true.
Man is infallible when he confesses his sins before God.
The Lord accepts confession as a Thank Offering … and in return grants Grace, leading to Life.
Christ’s call to repentance does not go unheeded — the Thief repented on the cross (granted Paradise that same day).
Man can only come to true repentance when he has caught a glimpse of the other world.
God is light and we must become as transparent as He is.
Dwell on any remembrance that brings contrition to your soul.
We should not suffer out pains alone — but include the Lord Jesus Christ.
St Silouan: “If we answer back when corrected, we hate our own soul. We should not have the last word. Our last word should be: Amen.”
These notes were taken during the annual Clergy Retreat for the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, February 6-9, 2007. The retreat was led by Archimandrite Zacharias of the Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Tolleshunt Knights-by-Maldon, Essex, U.K. These are my notes and were filtered through my poor faculties. Any and all errors theological are mine. Forgive me.
UPDATE: Listen to the entire talk — CDs now available!