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Archimandrite Father Gabriel Galev: Forgiveness

14238150_1104199726314477_5684299291068550184_nThis Sunday is “Forgiveness Day”, a day for forgiveness and reconciliation between one another and with God. Forgiveness is the foundation and beginning of spiritual life as is the Great Lent also. In the preceding weeks before Great Lent commences, the Holy Church taught us about pride, humility, repentance, the Last Judgment of God, and today the Holy Church teaches us about forgiveness. Forgiveness is like a door. If we forgive, we open that door and by that we receive God in our heart and the one to whom we forgave. Forgiveness is receiving God in ourselves. But if we do not forgive the people their transgressions, it means that Christ is out of our heart and we have nothing to do with Christ.

Forgiveness is liberation. If we do not forgive, anger, lovelessness, coldness, bad desires, feelings and intentions, everything bad and evil remains in us until the moment when we forgive, and then we get rid of them. When the heart is liberated through forgiveness, grace grows, joy is immense, and love unspeakable. On the contrary, we will carry weightiness and coldness throughout our lives and that will be a burden to us , and what is even more terrible if we do not forgive, that burden and coldness continue after death in eternal torments.

It’s not easy to forgive. Because of our fallen nature, trapped, above all from the passion of the Higher opinion of ourselves, the pride, or the fear of trampling on our own ego, it is difficult for us to forgive.

But how do we take up the fight? Because of the love of Christ. If He, came, suffered, and was crucified for us, it is right that we also do it for Him. At that moment we will not be able to forgive and our thoughts may be in turmoil for a certain time, but we must give deeper consideration to our actions. It is important that we overcome our turmoil and accordingly we will see if, and how much, we love and we are with Christ. If we succeed in forgiving in a shorter time, it means that we are closer to Him, and vice versa.

First of all, we should refrain from returning evil for evil. Next let us begin to pray for the Lord to calm (humble) us down and the grace of God to dwell in us so that we have the power to forgive.

May God forgive all of us. First of all, I ask forgiveness of all the wrongs I have done, and also I forgive anyone who has wronged me. I urge you all to forgive each other and not allow the devil to stand between us and divide us. May Christ be amongst us! Amen.

Archimandrite Father Gabriel Galev  


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