I want to add one more idea to this regarding the Russian soul. Few people in the West understand the psychological differences between Russians and themselves. 90% of modern Russians are decendants of people who were ‘serfs’ barely more than a century ago.
The serfdom was unknown in Russia. It was introduced only by Catherine II, a German by birth and Protestant by soul, fiercely anti Church as Peter I; during their tenures the monasticism almost disappeared from Russia, because of their persecutions.
It’s for this that the West call both “Great”, as Charles the Frank.
It was abolished by the Tsar Alexander III, it did last only a century in Russia.
The key to understand Russia is Christ. The mysterious Russian soul is the Christian soul; it’s mysterious only to non Christian (mind you, I’m not proposing the equation Russian=Christian here).
I will only stress who a Christian is. A Christian is he who thinks that every crime (sin) can be forgiven if REPENTED of, not just confessed. God cannot be mocked!
You cannot win the Christian soul; Christians will choke you in their own blood. Where is the mighty pagan Roman Empire? Where is the mighty atheist Soviet Union? Gone, chocked by the blood of millions martyrs.
It’s that soul whom Stalin did appeal to smash the Germans, after the first catastrophic years of war, that same soul that Bolsheviks had tried so hard to destroy until then.
Bolsheviks had distinguished until that moment for being crushed by Poles in the first years after the Revolution and nailed down by Finnish, beyond being literally overwhelmed by Germans at the beginning.
They were very good to murder, not to fight.
Then Stalin openly called for Mother Russia, persecutions against the Church did stop to never again resume as before and the atheist leader had the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos flied over Moscow for protection in the worst moments.
After that, Germans did choke in the Russian blood too and that mysterious soul did start to regain slowly the upper hand
You’ll not prevail against that soul in the open. You have to subtly turn her away from Christ, to disavow Him and to apostatize, a tactical so successful in the West and also in Russia, in 1917, to the extent that useful idiots did get rid of the Sovereign.
They did try again after the suddenly triggered Soviet Union collapse; they almost succeeded!
In less than 10 years atheist consumerism was on the verge of obtaining what 70 years of atheist communism could not: the annihilation of that soul!
Of course, Russia does not exist without that soul. Russia is Holy Rus’ or she isn’t! You can have Russian citizens, Russian government, et cetera, but you shall not have Russia.
A little advice for nostalgic Soviet there, to conclude.
Flush down the toilet Lenin and all the other Bolsheviks leaders, where they belong, and substitute them with Christ. Substitute the Capital (a real misery of philosophy, after all, full of bias and logical non sequitur) with the Gospels.
Ask then for citizens votes, (almost) the same political program, but with Christ instead of Marx and the rest of Jewish revolutionaries as the cornerstone.
And feel free to drop me a few lines of thanksgiving after.
I have mentioned before my weakness concerning religious understandings. I see how this ignorance wrecked what I wanted to say.
Concerning repentance, I did not make the proper distinction. I was talking about about the institution of Confession and how it is interpreted in the spiritually declining world in which we live. I can think of too many examples where the underlying message of Christ is ignored while the rhetoric remains intact. Perhaps this is too cynical but my intent was not to insult Catholics. I was raised in an irreligious family although I see myself as ‘ethnically’ Catholic, if that makes any sense.
When you say “flush down the toilet Lenin and all the other Bolsheviks leaders, where they belong, and substitute them with Christ”, I become nervous.
I become nervous because it seems insufficient to replace one King with another, even the most righteous of all. Surely we must do much more than make a substitution. I do not believe we can all find the ‘Christ’ within. I do not believe all souls are made in the likeness of Christ. I am deeply skeptical of idea that such an end point will ever exist. There have been people in my life I have no desire to forgive. Why must I forgive? For myself, OK, maybe it would be nice to let go but I often prefer to remember if only to defend myself. I cannot simply fall to the floor and beg for deliverance. If this is a strength then I do not possess it.
Perhaps that is why you can say that you have faith while I have never been confident enough to say so myself. I know of it’s value and necessity but this is obviously different from belief.
Of course, as always, I remain eager to learn.
I’m not (Roman) Catholic, my statement was just meant for Catholics and all those who pretend to be Christian, thinking that God is a kind of bureaucrat; you present the certificate of confession and He will stamp it.
Some centuries ago the Popes could even tell you can buy a free pass for a congruous number of ducats.
Protestants by then think that they do not even need anymore to present the certificate.
This kind of faults are not strange to some nominal Orthodox too: I think that is Russian that saying about a man who prayed to the Lord to forgive him for the chicken he had stolen that day and to forgive him also for the one he was going to steal the day after.
This is obviously ludicrous and all of these guys are going to get a nasty surprise in due time.
The Forerunner, the Holy Prophet John the Baptist, did start preaching with the word : “Repent!”.
The Lord also did begin His public teaching with the same word: “Repent!”.
To repent means only one thing: you regret your wrongdoings and change your way of life, to live it according to the words and the commandments of God.
You try at least, according to your strength, but your effort has to be sincere.
Forgiveness always presupposes the repentance. You MUST forgive them IF they repent. This is the rule.
Of course, you CAN forgive them in any case. That’s considered one of the most high Christian virtue.
The Lord did ask the Father to forgive those who did crucify Him, so did the First Martyr Stephen and many of the greatest Saints after him.
But they ASK. God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.
You see, most of humanity is just cheated and of them you must have mercy, even if they do not repent, because they simply “do not know what they do”.
Mercy has to be the “default” state for a Christian, because you will not receive mercy if you do not give it.
My understanding is that even a non-Christian can receive the mercy of God. Think of a pious Muslim, for example.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
He can very well live all of his life according to the Commandments of God and to His Word, yet he does not believe in the divinity of Christ. That is a sin against the Son of Man, a very very serious one, but the Lord Himself said that it CAN be forgiven.
Only the sin against the Holy Spirit CANNOT be forgiven, i.e. the conscious, tenacious rejection of the Truth, the willing and steady choice of evil; in a word, IMPENITENCY!
For us God is a Person, not a book, and He gives if you ask.
Pride is what makes you stand up before the Cross.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When I say to substitute Lenin and Marx with Christ, I am not asking for a new king instead of the old one. I am asking to substitute murders and lies, man’s fallen reason and self-worship with the Truth.
Just think: how much evil there would be in the world if every man would keep the Commandments? Just think that private property has not one but two divine sanctions, in those same Commandments (do not steal, do not covet your neighbor’s belongings).
The Truth only will open your eyes and make you understand (to stay inside this particular example) that the Lord did always give, everything and from the beginning to the end, FREELY, but He did never ever FORCE anyone.
To force a man is one of the worst sin against God, because you deny him the freedom to choose, that freedom which more than anything else is the basic of our likeness.
So much so that even God cannot deny that freedom because in that case He would deny Himself. That’s not possible.
So He let us free, free to choose, free even to “kill” Him. And free to bear the consequences.
Every soul is made in His Image and Likeness, you just need to look at an infant to understand that, their eyes are devoid of any evil, of any malice, of any hint of shame. But we are fallen creatures and this world’s fallen with us, because we rule it; they have to grow up in a fallen world and between fallen creatures, they bear the imprint of the ancestral sin and suffer its consequences; so they fall too.
Even the Lord had to bear the temptations of the devil, because the Incarnation did happen in a fallen world. But He was the Lord, even His birth in the flesh was of immaculate nature, and He did resist all of them; we are not and we cannot! Anyway He at least did open again the way to God for us, a way that we had completely forgotten by then.
The Way is there and is He (as much as the Truth and the Life).
To take that Way or not is however up to us.
God cannot deny Himself!