Дорога домой. Выпуск ДД-72.2ар  [23фев06]
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
(John 14:6)

The Lord Jesus Christ in His sermon is teaching us how to change for the better. In Orthodox Church there is a whole methodology on how to heal oneself. This methodology consists of prayer, inner attention, fast, confession and communion.
    Bishop Alexander (Mileant) (+2005) ROCOR, in his Paschal Epistle, describes how drug addicts are treated by teaching them Christian way of life and requiring them to help taking care of sick people, in other words by doing good deeds. His story-sermon can serve us as an example of how to achieve healing method for various emotional problems. For example: narcotics, alcohol, paranoia etc.

Paschal Epistle, 2002,
Alexander, Bishop
of Buenos Aires and South America
Translated into English by Dr. Steven Bushnell.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth
(Col. 3:1-2).
Christ is Risen!

I greet you, my dear ones, with the joyful feast of the Resurrection of Christ! The rising up of the Savior from the dead manifests not only the greatest miracle of all times, but it is also the turning-point in the life of mankind. Exactly this opens to everyone the path to eternal life, to authentic life and eternal happiness.

Not only animals and plants but still more so do we people thirst constantly for life and joy. And this thirst is not something unnatural or sinful that must be suppressed in ourselves, as Buddhism teaches, but is placed within us by the Creator Himself, creating us and making us His children.

It is only a pity that the majority of people don't know in what authentic happiness consists and where one must look for it and that, according to their spiritual blindness, they see their happiness only in that which is earthly. And earthly happiness is very limited, short-lived, and cannot satisfy our immortal souls. But unspiritual man can in no way understand this elementary truth.

Once a person visited me who was sick with cancer and could hardly move, he was so weak. According to his external appearance, it seemed that he was barely among the living, that his days were numbered. Nevertheless, he came to me with the request to help him start a new family life. Having suffered from a few unsuccessful marriages, he wanted to again "try his luck" in a new marriage. In such a critical state of health, it would have been more fitting for him to concern himself with his soul, to make peace with God and with those close to him, to distribute his property for the good of the Church and the poor — even to take monastic vows, as our forefathers did of old. . . . But no, he was unable to perceive his happiness differently from the plan of this temporary life. Of course he did not deny that on the other side of the grave there exists another, better life in the Heavenly Kingdom. But it, as also contact with God, and spiritual joys in general, never attracted him, who was tied with all his being to the earthly.

Exactly in this atrophy of spiritual needs within people is the whole tragedy of mankind. People, having lost a living contact with God — the Source of life and joy, — have wallowed in corporal interests. All their dreams, goals, and ideals have become small and pitiful. They are similar to beetles swarming in refuse, searching for pleasures and that which is good, over which they quarrel and fight with one another, and they have forgotten about their higher calling. Because of this, our life has been filled with every aspect of evil and crime. For the sake of temporary advantage or pleasure, people are prepared to insult another person, to lie, to deceive — even to steal or kill. . . . In their blindness, they don't recognize that the more they are immersed in the mud of sins, the more they become unhappy. To every liar, libertine, drunkard, and thief, it seems that he is just about to get what he wants and then everything will go well. But success and happiness, as if they were mercury, slip through their fingers every time. "The wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:20-21).

Especially pitiful are those who give themselves up to some kind of shameful passion, like, for example, sexual depravity, drunkenness, or drug addiction, because they destroy within themselves the image of God and become beast-like. Once I became acquainted with a young person who injected himself with heroin. The euphoria that he achieved during the action of the drug invariably changed to feelings of emptiness, unhappiness with himself, and despair. To overcome these feelings, he had to urgently get a new dose of the narcotic — and it wasn't important to him by what means. His health was deteriorating very fast. To persuade him to fight with his passion was useless. He himself recognized the destructiveness of drug addiction, but he felt himself powerless to fight with it. Seeing how he was withering away before one's eyes, I gave him not more than a few more months to live.

Who can describe the grief of his mother, before whose eyes he was perishing physically and spiritually! All her hope was turned to God, to Whom she prayed day and night to save her son. And her prayer was answered. It was by precisely a miracle that a clinic rehabilitating drug addicts was found. They took the young man and began to treat him — not by medicines but by a special regimen, discussions and useful activities. A few years later I met him again and didn't recognize him: before me stood a healthy, blossoming, cheerful youth. From his mother I came to know that he is a very good student at his college and became a gifted artist.

In what was the secret of the miraculous change that occurred with him? It seems that the main method of healing in this clinic . . . was to compel the patients to do good: to pray to God, to read the Holy Scriptures, to visit the old and the sick, to feed the hungry, to concern themselves with the homeless. Every day of their life there was filled with this useful activity. "Do good to others, then God will help you too" — was the slogan at the clinic.

And here, really, is a paradox: when this young man lived according to his own will, for his own happiness and pleasure, then he felt himself unhappy, and when he began to worry about others and to do good, he found happiness!

Here I became convinced that the main method of overcoming any internal problems should be to do that on which the Church has always insisted: to love God and our neighbors not only in words but precisely in deeds! When the soul becomes closed within itself, it sinks in the dark and cold. When it comes near to God and opens its spiritual talents, then it blossoms. And this spiritual light, which has come down to it from God, illumines and warms not only it, but also all those around it.

Was it not this that was taught to us by our Savior, Who came down into our sorrowful world, took upon Himself our sins and died for them on the Cross? "With His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). He is risen to join us to His Divine life.

From all this there is one conclusion: if you are in grief and depressed, tired out from futility, and life to you is unkind, turn all your being to God. Begin to do good, to pray, to repent, to read spiritual literature. Help your neighbors; become a useful member of your parish. And the more you will succeed in this, the more there will appear in you strength and cheerfulness and happiness. Within you will act the grace of the Victor over hell and death. You will become His beloved child and the heir of eternal blessings.

+ Bishop Alexander

Литература на наших эл. стр.
Епископ Александр (Милеант) (ДД-72)
Russian Alphabet (SE-03)

Духовный листок «Дорога домой. Выпуск ДД-72.2ар -
Преодоление психических проблем»
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