On Neutrality

There is no neutrality in spiritual life. Idleness is a passive sin. There are no by-standers in the kingdom of heaven. Although we heard the Word of God, we have not yet obeyed His words. This “not yet” is a form of paralysis. The neutral man who, in his own opinion, commits no active sin is actually a paralyzed, inactive man. Despite what he thinks about himself, the paralytic man is not, in fact, coolly indifferent to the kingdom of heaven. Maybe he imagines that he is weighing his options, waiting for the opportune moment to make spiritual progress, etc., but this is a mistake. A man cannot bear his own burdens, for the deadweight of his sins fall upon others’ shoulders. Whoever refuses to make progress is rejecting his own nature. His delay is his rebellion against God, for the Lord created us for life and joy in the kingdom of heaven. The neutralized man continues to reject this life and joy. After our repentance, the Lord showers us with further gifts. He does so even before we begin to shoulder our own burdens. After repentance rightly comes the struggle: the struggle to regain our nature and, by the mercy of the Lord, to enter into the joy of the kingdom of heaven. The real gift is when we, dynamic creatures that we are, realize and activate the struggle to be ourselves.