As we have made it through one complete week of the New Year, we can consider our spiritual renewal – whether or not we made New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of a year is a good time to reflect on our spiritual life and commitment. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” We Orthodox engage in evaluating our lives in the sacrament of confession, in our daily examination of conscience, in meditating upon the Scriptures and spiritual writings, in our liturgical services, in our talks with our Father confessors and with our fellow Christians.
Here is a meditation from St. Francis of Assisi on how virtue drives out vice. We might use this to combat both sins of commission and sins of omission.
“Where there is charity and wisdom
There is neither fear nor ignorance.
Where there is patience and humility,
There is neither anger nor disturbance.
Where there is poverty with joy,
There is neither covetousness nor avarice.
Where there is fear of the Lord to guard the house (cf. Lk 11:21),
There the enemy cannot gain entry.
Where there is mercy and discernment,
There is neither excess nor hardness of heart.”
(Francis and Clare, the Complete Works, p. 35)