“Confronted by great difficulties in accepting Orthodoxy while living in a society which did not value the stern and sometimes foreign ways of the faith, the young woman diverted her attention to other things. Deeply shaken by this, the priest who had tried to guide her to Orthodoxy was perplexed as to what to do. He did not wish to show his own spiritual concern, for fear of hurting his own soul. Yet he did not wish to suffer the loss of this young woman’s soul. He therefore sought the advice of a spiritual man, who told him: “If a truly holy man said that she would become Orthodox drop by drop, then this means that her Orthodoxy will come to her like the rain from heaven – by God’s own will, in His time, and by His mercy. Keep silent and pray for her.”
Would that we all could come to love Jesus with our whole minds and our whole hearts. As certain as I am that many of us do, I am equally certain that we don’t find it easy to stand against our culture and our society and confront them with Jesus. We also allow our minds to be diverted from holiness.
Would that, when we wished to correct someone for something we perceive to be a fault, we imitated this priest and thought whether it would do more harm than good. What’s the risk that we run? Judgementalism and we know Jesus tells us not to judge in case we get judged in return.
I love the idea of faith coming to us “drop by drop.” That tells me the Holy Spirit only gives us as much as we can handle of any one time, be it an awareness of our own sin or a blindingly beautiful insight into the nature of the Godhead. The idea that we are not to interfere in anyone’s walk with God is liberating. All we have to do is keep silent and pray for each other.