I Too Am A Sinner

Reading my Facebook “news” stream is a trip into a world of bitterness, hate, and cynicism.

Not everyone, of course, is this way. But most of the Americans are. Interestingly none of my European, Middle Eastern, or Latin American friends.

The attitude I continually perceive is “I’m right, and you’re wrong.” 

Reading in the sayings of the Desert Fathers, those early Christians (not all men, by the way) who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of living holy lives continually aware of how they fell short. The communities sprang up in the late 100s and survived until the 400s AD (or CE to the modern historians).

Their sayings should be read annually along with Proverbs to remind us of how to live.

It is said that a priest ordered a brother who sinned to leave the community. Abbot Bessarian also got up to leave, saying “I, too, am a sinner.”

When a brother praised another brother to Abbot Poeman saying he hated evil, the Abbot asked what he meant by hating sin. Confused, the brother asked for guidance. “That man hates evil who hates his own sins, and looks upon every brother as a saint and loves him as a saint.”

Someone posting such negative things will back down when called out on it. But calling people out for their hypocrisy is the job of a prophet. Prophets are usually killed. 

When we find we have this spirit of bitterness, hate, cynicism, or self-righteousness, we need to be open to the correction of the spirit who will remind us that we, too, are sinners. In a perfect world, none of us is perfect.

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