Bishop Jovan (Puric)
We need greater and lesser hopes on the path of life. But they are insufficient without the great Hope, and this is God with a human face. He gives us everything, and that is that which belongs to Hope. His very love, of the Crucified and Resurrected One, enables us that in soberness and in spite of the imperfections of the world we resist everything not losing the slightest hope. His love is simultaneously a guarantee that He give us that which we suspect in the dark. The practical center and practice site for hope is in the Church, in the temple – the space and school of hope.
The inner man expands with prayer. The Holy Apostle Paul testifies of the reaching out to the one who is coming (Phil. 3:13). The heart needs to be expanded and cleansed that God might enter. We open ourselves for grace with pain and effort. In this way we open up ourselves for others. For, praying does not mean we let go of history and reality. Of course, we have to learn that we cannot pray against others, but prayerfully recognize our fault, the numbness of our conscience and the inability of recognizing our sins and evil deeds. This is why prayer with God awakens my conscience, and allows us to hear only the good. Here the personal and communal prayer is assumed, the prayer of the Church and all the Saints. The rule of faith and the rule of prayer go together.
Ora et labora – every true and real action of man and work with prayer is hope in action. It is important to know that in spite of our deeds and merit the opened heavens are a gift from God. We, truly, can open the doors for the entrance of grace in our hearts. The co-workers of God did this. Digging within oneself sources of creation and cooperation is the goal of our time in this life. For, actions and creation belong as a part of man’s existence. Even when evil triumphs, we need to have courage and endure to the end. Man must do his best to lessen suffering and soothe the pain in going beyond the pains of the soul. Only God can help us in all of this, who also suffered. Often people avoid pain only wanting pleasure and for this reason do they fall in a state of numbness of indifference for oneself or others. However, man is not saved by avoiding and escaping the accepting of suffering , but the ability to accept suffering with the help of Christ, with the help of the Church.
The criterium of humanity is essentially determined by its relation to suffering and the one suffering. This goes for the individual and the community. In just the suffering which is divided among others the Light of loves reaches out. In other words, Truth and Justice must stand above my conformism. Otherwise, life becomes a lie. The proof of love is the source of suffering, and love always seeks one’s renouncing in which I am limited and sore. In this state of sacrifice we need Faith, which in a newer and deeper manner announces the capability of the manner of suffering.
To be continued