Fr Thomas Hopko on becoming a mature adult Christian
In his podcast on ‘Who is the Theotokos’, Father Hopko advises us to read the entire New Testament several times and to pray to God to illumine our understanding, “Holy Spirit enlighten me, guide me.” We need to set aside our prejudice, anger and hang ups.
If we don’t believe in God, pray to whom it may concern. If we are not sure, pray “God, if you are there, please help me. I want to know. Illumine my heart. Show me your way. I am ready to follow if I can be convinced. I’m not just here to chit chat. I’m not here to hear a word to discuss it. I’m here to hear a word and to do it, if I am convinced that it is God’s word.” Pray every day. Pray the Lord’s prayer.
Fast Wednesday and Friday every week. Share some of your goods with a poor person. Share some of your time with others, 2 hours every week at a shelter. Try to sit every day in total silence for 15-20 minutes, before the face of God. If addicted to food, alcohol or sex, seek help from a professional programme.
Find a confessor, one human you can tell everything to without editing. God will provide a trustworthy confessor if you are really serious about confession. There has to be one person who knows everything about you: your thoughts, temptations and dreams. This is the humility that opens you up to reality and saves you from the lie. Most of the lies are unconscious at first because you are so used to lying that you don’t even know you are lying.
Beware that sometimes the addiction can be religion itself. Go to church. Stand in the back. Do nothing but listen. Don’t judge the people who are there. Don’t criticise the reading, chanting and icons. Just leave yourself open. If someone has the courage and desire to do these things, God will reveal Himself. These things lead a person to become a mature, adult, spiritual Christian person.
Source: Lychnos October-November 2020