Fr. Spyridon Skoutis


A lot of hesitations…

Some people don’t want to go to confession, others are driven mad by being woken up early to go to church, the fast seems like a mountain, but dieting for the beach is a child’s game. You see a priest on the street and you feel like crossing the road. Sin wants to anchor you in its own harbour.

And what’s behind all this?

We don’t want to abandon sin. We like it. As one song says, the cup of sin is sweet. We don’t want to leave, we’ve been together for years, we enjoy this marriage. We’ve become as one. If anyone goes to touch our other half, even in a sermon, we go wild. Everything’s a rebuke to us. We see Christ crucified and cry on Great Thursday, but we don’t want to take the next step. The sight of the Cross is a rebuke to us, but we’re too weak to take the path of healing.

Sin’s like a lover who threatens to break up your marriage if you breathe a word. You come to church, simply light a candle and leave with bowed head, not able even to look the saints in the eye, because that would reflect on your condition and you don’t want that. You’re ashamed, but do nothing about it. You’ve handed over too many of your rights. You’re in a tight spot.

When you’re used to being in your prison cell, freedom seems like an illness to you.

Then Christ comes into your life and whispers to you in all the various situations you’re involved in that you don’t want to be who you are, that this prison you’re living in isn’t really your home. Often He speaks to you when you’re in pain, because that’s the only time you heed Him.

And suddenly the time comes for you to take decisions.

If you accept His invitation, then, as the saints say, your passionate love of sin is extinguished by the passionate love of the Bridegroom, and healing can begin.

In the Church, we call this ‘repentance’, a journey with Christ at the helm. We also call this healing ‘sanctity’ and ‘transformation in Christ’. We call our acceptance ‘intent’. The sense of change we call ‘being touched by Grace’. Christ’s whisper we call ‘revelation’.

You’re ill, but also the first to be invited to a banquet, at which you’re the guest of honour.

The banquet is the Holy Altar. The master of the feast is Christ Who spoke to you and you’re the guest of honour.

You’re the one sitting in the prayer-stall. Others might mock you for getting involved with old women and gossips, but you’re already somewhere else. You look at sin and are repulsed by it. Suddenly you hear the sound of the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven opening and you’re being invited in…

All of this happens in the Church, where you’re together with the sick, the mad, the sinful and the besotted.

Fight the good fight, my friend. Never forget: you’re a member of His body.





Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. Click to signup to receive weekly newsletter. 

Join us in our Media Ministry Missions! Help us bring the Orthodox Faith to the fingertips of Orthodox Christians worldwide! Your gift today will helps us produce and provide unlimited access to Orthodox faith-inspiring programming, services and community. Don’t wait. Share the Love of Orthodoxy Today!

OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not understand what man is.  Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.


Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder