"The experience of forgiveness is much more organic, more relational. Forgiveness is actually something that grows. St. Theophan says that it is necessary to develop the hope that comes from working on our salvation (i.e. cooperating with God’s Grace through repentance and spiritual disciplines). And it is this hope that begins to release us from shame and is the evidence of growing or maturing forgiveness. 'Without it,' St. Theophan says, 'there can be no beginning of the work of salvation; and even more so, no continuation. But there it was in conception; here it is mature.' For St. Theophan, it seems, forgiveness and the accompanying release from shame is something that is conceived in us and grows to maturity."
St. Theophan the Recluse has a wonderful commentary on Psalm 118 recently (2014) revised and published by St. John of Kronstadt Press. I’m being both inspired and stretched by it. I got to thinking about what the Church means when it talks about forgiveness by some of St. Theophan’s comments on verse 31 of Psalm 118.
I have cleaved to Your testimonies, O Lord; put me not to shame.
St. Theophan’s commentary touches on the experience…