Lenten Musings by Susan Wiley

Sunday night I looked to see the face of Christ on the icon on my dresser. There was an empty glass sitting in front of it, blocking my line of vision. While I could see the colors on the icon, the face was obscured. “Though we see through a glass darkly, then shall we see face to face.”

An Orthodox view of Lent involves the idea of recognizing our need to be rescued from our sin and self-inflicted bondage to pride, greed, lust. In repentance (recognizing our sin and turning from it to God) we confess, and in confession, obtain forgiveness and joy.

The Canon of St. Andrew reads:

By my own free choice I have incurred the guilt of Cain’s murder. I have killed my conscience bringing the flesh to life and making war upon the soul by my wicked actions.

The commentary says that in annihilating and disposing his own conscience, he has committed a kind of murder. He has killed his sensitivity to the subtle voice of God, a murder which will guarantee his own death in sin. The free choice of sin is a kind of suicide.

Do I place between my eyes and Your face the obscuring glass of sin, Father? Do I look everywhere for something or someone beside You to fill the longings of my heart? Yet, while I look away from You, You are always looking toward me, and speaking my name.

If God hears the cry of the brokenhearted, and came to rescue us from sin and death, then

I pray that all who are enslaved to the death of having killed their consciences (and don’t all of us do this at some point in our lives, repeatedly in our lives?) are rescued from the domain of death. I pray that we will be restored and healed and made whole and forgiven. I pray that Your mercy, O God, is as prodigal as Your love.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner, and on all people, and all of your creation.