“Scripture reveals in these words that he who has not completely forgiven those who stumble, and has not brought his heart to God free from grievance and illuminated with the light of reconciliation with his neighbor, will fail to attain the grace of the blessings he has prayed for.”
St. Maximos the Confessor
“On the Lord’s Prayer”
Philokalia Volume 2 pg. 303
Reconciliation is the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God and one another. Reconciliation pushes us to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions and society. This work is dependent on our ability to center God and God’s call on our life as the primary way we evaluate our decisions. St. Maximos points out that this is an important part of our work as Christians. Our inability to reconcile with others and our actions towards them severely holds us back from a full relationship with God and one another. On the other hand, reconciliation can be rewarding and fulfilling because it moves us outside of ourselves and brings us closer to God’s sphere. God reconciles with us by sending his son, Jesus Christ, in human form; because of this, we can find strength to reconcile with others. However, that’s only one part of our work. As we work toward reconciliation, we must ask ourselves: What are the systems that divide us and how can we change them? When we can acknowledge how our decision, or even indecision, has contributed to these systems we have begun the work of reconciliation.