Giving thanks for shortcomings


Photo taken by my son, Andrei.

A few weeks ago, during confession, I told my priest of a recurrent problem in my life, one that I do not seem to be able to escape. The priest said, “We all have one or several problems that are given to us, and if they are given to us, it is in them that we can find our salvation. If you cannot yet be free of this problem, perhaps it is in your fight with it that you can go closer to God.” The priest did not say that I have to eliminate it for salvation, but rather that I need to accept that I have it, to not see myself above it, and to see in it a blessing for which I need to give thanks: it is my chance to approach God. There is no despair, no matter how long we may fight with our shortcomings and no matter how many times we fall again.

Of course, the priest did not say that I don’t have to do anything about it, but rather that I should trust I would receive help to overcome it when the moment has come. Now, if I still have the problem with me, even if I fight it, perhaps I have not yet learned what I am to learn from it.

My priest’s words still stay with me, and I often think of them. On the one hand, they gave me a certain joy: I am never alone on this path, but various energies are with me, some eating of my body, some nourishing it. And I have to give thanks to and for all of them. Then, there is something more to these words: if a shortcoming is a nail I put in Jesus’ body, but  it is also something that is given to me in the economy of salvation, how much love can there be in a gift that makes the giver suffer? What kind of love does God have if He allows me to do things that nail His body on the cross just because these things somehow may bring me to my salvation?




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About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
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2 Responses to Giving thanks for shortcomings

  1. Unknown says:

    I hope you read a good bible version such as the KJV for yourself, particularly the New testament regarding your salvation and biblical faith… You will also learn that catholicism is more pagan than biblical… though some of what they teach is true. Most false religions teach enough truth to be believable. I do not say these things to offend, but Because the truth is more important than offense, and God is to be glorified and honored above all, and our salvation hinges on knowing Truth in Christ. Essentially, to be saved, we must be born again, repent of sin, die to self, and surrender our lives fully to God… Jesus is our only mediator, and we pray to God the Father in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus, Yeshuah, the Christ. We receive the Holy Spirit as a gift that dwells in us and gives us a new heart, and helps us to live according to the Bible with the purpose of the Gospel…. This is the only salvation given to men. My prayers for your salvation in Christ Jesus, Love Faith

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  2. Thank you very much for your comment. I won't say much. I'm not Catholic, but Orthodox. However, I fail to see how Catholicism is more pagan than biblical. It is also hard for me to consider that one particular translation contains the truth–in my understanding, this is a very foreign concept in Christianity. And if a text were to be the only one expressing the truth, I would prefer the original. To me, Truth is a person: Christ. May you be well in all things.

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