Presentation on theme: "Blessed are those who mourn…. Mourning our loss of communion with God Understanding there are two kinds of sorrow Embracing joyful mourning The."— Presentation transcript:
Blessed are those who mourn…
Mourning our loss of communion with God Understanding there are two kinds of sorrow Embracing joyful mourning The role of tears
St. Gregory of Nyssa
Worldly View What’s so ‘blessed’ about mourning? St. Gregory of Nyssa: “ Someone may well mock, saying ‘Does that mean that the more troubles you have the more blessed you are?’”
Wrong approach! Literal meaning vs. Spiritual meaning “How can a Man be born again?”
Life’s Troubles Hardship of Widowhood Struggle of Orphans Losses Shipwrecks Prisoners of war Unfair court rulings Land boundaries moved Goods confiscated Being dishonoured Sickness Disability Losing limbs
Penthos Strongest word for sadness in Greek grief Lamentation Sometimes means repentance.
What are we mourning? Deprivation of something Loss of the Ultimate Good The Kingdom of God Mourning the loss of salvation
Two kinds of Sorrow “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” St. Paul
Worldly Sorrow - Λύπη “the work of the worldly sorrow is death, whereas the other works salvation through repentance in those afflicted with it. For surely, if a soul bewails its wicked life because it feels its bad effects, such suffering cannot be excluded from the sorrow that is called blessed.”
Worldly Blessings Things going well Happy with wife/husband Pleased with children Supportive friends with brotherly/sisterly love Respected in public Honoured by leaders Rated by employers Welcomed by friends Decorated with riches Fun to be with Pleasant Fit and healthy
Numb to sin
The benefits of pain St. Gregory points out that “pain in a paralysed limb is not always a bad thing – it is an indication that it is returning to health”
Virtue “ we must first know what really is the true good, and then, with this in mind, consider human nature. For only thus can we attain to the mourning that is called blessed.”
Kingdom of Heaven
St. Barsanuphius “One must absolutely not be saddened by anything in the world only by sin”
Tears “When you think you do not need tears for your sins during prayer, reflect on this: you should always be in God, and yet you are far from Him. Then you will weep with greater feeling.” Evagrios
I am amazed at how that which is called mourning and grief should contain joy and gladness within it, like honey in the comb.
Mourning, according to God, is sadness of soul and the disposition of a sorrowing heart which ever madly seeks for that which it thirsts... Mourning is a golden spur in a soul which is stripped of all attachment and all ties... Keep a firm hold of the blessed joy-grief of holy mourning and do not stop working at it until it raises you high above the things of this world and presents you pure to Christ. The fruit of morbid mourning is vain glory and self-esteem, but the fruit of blessed mourning is comfort. He who is clothed in blessed and grace-given mourning... knows the spiritual laughter of the soul. My friends, God does not ask or desire that man should mourn from sorrow of heart, but rather out of love for Him he should rejoice with spiritual laughter. When I consider the actual nature of compunction, I am amazed at how that which is called mourning and grief should contain joy and gladness within it, like honey in the comb. St. John of the Ladder (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step 7)
Christ’s tears: Over Lazarus Unbelief of Jerusalem Gethsemane On Cross “Do not weep for me, weep rather for yourselves and your children.”
Biblical examples Peter’s tears “he wept bitterly” King David King Hezekiah The Prostitute
Adam’s Lament 'I have grieved my beloved Lord.'
" Adam, father of all mankind, in paradise knew the sweetness of the love of God; and so when for his sin he was driven forth from the garden of Eden, and was widowed of the love of God, he suffered grievously and lamented with a mighty moan. And the whole desert rang with his lamentations. His soul was racked as he thought: 'I have grieved my beloved Lord.' He sorrowed less after paradise and the beauty thereof — he sorrowed that he was bereft of the love of God, which insatiably, at every instant, draws the soul to Him. "In the same way the soul which has known God through the Holy Spirit but has afterwards lost grace experiences the torment that Adam suffered. There is an aching and a deep regret in the soul that has grieved the beloved Lord. "Adam pined on earth, and wept bitterly, and the earth was not pleasing to him. He was heartsick for God, and this was his cry: '"My soul wearies for the Lord, and I seek Him in tears. '"How should I not seek Him? '"When I was with Him my soul was glad and at rest, and the enemy could not come nigh me'"
Promise of Comfort He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth; for the LORD hath spoken it. Is. 25:8 As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you Is.66:13 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelations 7:17
Discussion What things do you mourn over? What is the effect on people’s and communities on refusing to mourn? Can you think of any examples? What is the connection between mourning and repentance?