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Story Attributed to Bishop Ignatius Byranchaninov

A brother once sorrowfully asked Sisoes the Great: "Father, what can I do? I have fallen into sin." The Staretz answered him: "Rise again." The brother said: "I rose up and fell." The Staretz answered: "Rise again." The brother answered:"How often mt I fall and rise up?" The Staretz said: "Until your death."

We often give much thought to our failures. We are desolated by them--torn apart, destroyed. But falling is part of the human condition. The Great Saints fell, though compared to us their falling is like a misstep over irregular pavement. The fact of the matter is that this will be our experience. If we think into the future it can lead to despair. But all we need to attend to is this moment--right now. The future does not exist and so it is time to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and move forward to stumble again--knowing that each time Jesus will be there to help us. Rather than a source of despair, each stumble becomes a chance to learn and to love Christ more for His infinite patience. When we look upon that patient and loving face, becoming more and more in love with Him, we are looking upon the face of the Father who loves us. So, let's all get up and move forward knowing that stumbling will occur--we are but infants--but we must not be discouraged by the feebleness of our efforts, but encouraged by the love of God the Father who cherishes each of us as though we were His only child.

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Thanks for the encouragement. There are times I fall into despair. Thank God He is more patient than we are.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 24, 2003 8:35 AM.

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