About Complaining about our problems


An excerpt from a letter to a prisoner.


Most of us complain too much. I think that pain is relative. We are sinners, so, we emphasize our own pain more than other’s pain. It is a rare, sanctified person who empathizes with other people’s pain more than his own. It is good to give ourselves a talking to, like you did, about complaining, but I am convinced that the only permanent solution to our inward looking self-centeredness is repentance and the experiencing of God.

His energy, His light – illumines us, and exposes our faults, and we are filled with such gratitude that we do not think of ourselves. We desire to take up our cross and help others, and even take on their pain in our life and our prayer – not because this is a commandment, expressed from the words of our Lord in the New Testament, but because out heart is open, and warm, and, plainly, like that of Jesus Christ. The repentant sinner MUST think more of others than himself. “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

A friend of mine recently wrote something about repentance, which I think applies here. He said it well:

”Someone asked me about repentance. Here it is; The entire Christian faith is a constant repentance, a constant return to God. The spirit of repentance must characterize all the works pertaining to us or to other people. Otherwise, they are not acceptable to God. Do we understand this? If in the relations between ourselves, other people and God, we fail to see the print of repentance, of "incessant repentance", our works are unacceptable to God. Repentance is the constant state in the life of the faithful, in the life of the Church - until our last breath; up to the last point when our soul leaves the body; up to the very moment - repentance must exist!” (Fr Demetrio D Romeo)

This blends well with something that I intuitively know and teach, and follow poorly – that when we have problems, the more we think of others, the less we dwell on our problems.

So, don’t feel like the lone ranger. Anybody who is honest would make the same confession. Nobody can bear your burdens but you, but those who love will help a little, and the more you attempt to bear other’s burdens, even if only with prayer, the less heavy your burdens become.

Priest Seraphim Holland

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