Humility

Yep, you are all right. I don’t have humility, as much as I talk about it. I do not have the humility to work. I do not have the humility to push myself beyond my limits so I do not have to rely so much on my disability support pension. But what can I do? I’m only mortal.

I suppose, if I were manic, I’d be able to eventually work a 20 hour shift, until the mania stopped and the depression set in. I really can’t work with customers as I do not know how aggressive they might be. I don’t have the humility to put up with rubbish from aggressive customers or management or HR.

I can sometimes put up with being insulted on qq chat, but sometimes they really get under my skin and I use my professional English knowledge to really insult them, saying things like that their only purpose is for their corpse to feed the worms at the cemetery. Great insult for all those trolls who take it too far!

But I have no humility. I have glimpses of it, I can control myself to a limited degree, but I do not keep a lot of the Lord’s commandments. I wish I did, but I haven’t been given the blessing by my priest to take communion at the Orthodox Church. Sigh, life is unfortunate. I wish I could do more for the emptiness in my soul.

I really wish for more humility so I wouldn’t brood with resentment over what the priests say to me, or have said to me. I can’t control them. People outside the church are frequently a lot worse, as Australian people have a poor code of conduct, generally speaking.

But violence doesn’t solve anything, as the police will just turn me into swiss cheese with their pistols and tazors. So I better not push myself too hard, as it could make my mental health a lot worse.

The Holy Spirit

I do remember the better times in life, before I had mental illness. But in actual fact, life is a continuum, but the emotions go up and down. Sometimes they are really up, but actually really downward emotions can kill you. They can drive you to attempting suicide, like I did in 2006, 2007, and 2017.

The cause of suicidal ideation is pride. We are saying to God ‘I’m fed up with not getting my way, so I’m going to murder this body you gave to me.’ It shows a lack of gratitude and humility, bearing patiently whatever God’s will is for us. Such are the times.

At the time I was suicidal, I would certainly of claimed the opposite, but indeed, it is a hatred and contempt for not only our lot in life, but of God Himself. The only way out of despair is humility, a patient endurance of the affliction, according to the Desert Fathers of the Orthodox Church.

It’s hotter in hell.

Tips for humble thinking

As St John of Kronstadt says in his work ‘My life in Christ’: “those who endure dishonour in this life will not be subjected to it in the next.” So I have some practical things to think when faced with dishonour.

If a person insults you, calling you a worthless person, with or without coarse language, say ‘Yes! This is true! I deserve your words because of my sins! Thank you for your caustic words!’

If a person won’t talk to you, and repeatedly ignores you, leave them alone, and say ‘God told them to ignore me, because I have been ignoring God.’

If you are feeling lonely and empty on the inside, say ‘It is the will of God for me to feel this way, Jesus faced the same feelings and worse on the cross.’

If you are feeling rejected, and you can not find true love, say ‘I can not find true love because I reject the true love of God. It is all my fault, not my love interest’s.’

If you are excluded from a friendship circle because you are different, say ‘blessed are they, because they know how wicked I am, thus they are fulfilling the Lord’s admonition to the Israelites “put the evil out from under your midst.”

If you are being bullied needlessly by an accuser, say to them ‘God bless you. Thank you for your caustic words. By your words you drive out the serpents of arrogance and anger from deep in my heart.’

Scourged by the whip of God’s love

The Protestant and Catholic traditions have a long history of believing that hell is a material fire and is a state of separation from God. This is not what the Eastern Rite Orthodox Church believes.

Psalm 139:8: ‘Even if you make your bed in Sheol (hell), I (the Lord) am there.’ I could only come up with this verse to prove the reality that hell is not a place, but a condition of the soul.

To quote Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of the ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), ‘God doesn’t send anybody to hell. God doesn’t punish us either in this world or the world to come. And as St Anthony the great says, “It would be great error to think that God could love people in hell any less than He loves people in heaven.” Because hell is your condition, it’s not a place. The malice we feel is the fire that burns. The malice within our own conscience.’

St Isaac the Syrian describes the state of the sinners in hell as a state in which they are ‘scourged by the whip of God’s love.’

I shall give you an example from my own life. Each time I attend the divine liturgy at my Greek Orthodox church, I feel as though I am in hell, I feel the fire that burns. I feel the malice and rancor of my tendency to judge others, even my fellow parishioners in the temple of the Lord.

I am not looking forward to my day of judgement, where I will have to face the Lord. The Lord will not accuse me of anything. My own conscience, the basic input-output system of our morality, will accuse me, where I will feel the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Luke 13:28).

One of the Saints, in his deep humility, said, ‘I will go to the place where the devil will be condemned.’ If I were to say that about myself, it would not be humility, it would be a fact.