I listen to Handel’s “Messiah” while driving my car as part of my Advent discipline. One of the selections quotes Isaiah 53 — “A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…”

I am reminded that this is such a precise description of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. What is more, I am reminded of this invitation to embrace His sorrow as my sorrow and my sorrow as His. What is more, the sorrow of the world and of every person in it is His sorrow AND, through Him as I mature more and more, my sorrow. This puts my “sorrows” in a completely different context in which to be understood. It redefines intercessory prayer.

Life is filled with sorrows. Graves in all kinds of forms, if you like. And, “…even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”

A wonderful essay can be found here, entitled, “St. Silouan of Mt. Athos: ‘I have many sorrows of my own, and they are my own fault…'” by Roman Savchuk.

I recommend it highly. It did, in my soul, what the Holy Spirit always does in my soul, simultaneously comforts and exhorts me. Not one or the other, but both/and. And, that is the whole point of the essay ! !

St. Silouan of Mt. Athos


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