By f. Themistoklis Mourtzanos
We hide our true self behind a mask. At an early age we learn to be the “good kids” in front of others.
We learn to be polite, not to tell our true opinion about the others, to make good impression.
The goal of the upbringing is to make our role a reality. We do not want to just play a role, but also live it. Be ourselves as we want the others to see us.
How true we are is apparent to our friendships. When we relax. When we can discuss everything, our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
There, if we pay more attention, we will find out who we really are. What expresses ourselves. When we relax in social networking websites.
We can post our photos, we comment on what and who we like, we are indifferent to posts, we can use nicknames and write our opinion, offend, insult or mock.
We can post songs or pictures that express ourselves. The social media reveal our truth.
Sometimes this truth frightens us. This should not need to be the case. The mask we wear should frighten us because it does not allow us to be self-critical, to take a decision of repentance, to see what separates us from our inner self. Our hypocrisy becomes our truth, while the Truth is concealed in the depths of our soul.
And this is more intense when we are alone. The night before we sleep. When we witness a failure. When we find how lonely we are, sometimes through no fault of our own. Perhaps in our prayer to God, if we allow ourselves to calm down, see what we lack, not something material but in our inner life.
Throwing the mask, if done with a view to exiting the light, is an incredibly creative act. People, regardless of their age, can see who we really are, but viewing our self image is hard to last.
It is a temporary repentance, because the roles we sometimes embody, sometimes express ourselves, sometimes we are forced to follow, do not leave us room for a radical revolution of truth.
Being given to the authority of others and ourselves, given to the goal of winning, we can not, even if we understand it, break down our false self image, for we fear the cost, which is once the denial of the life we have lived, the identity which we have built, the acceptance we won without being worth it.
At Carnival, people throw away masks. Maybe because they are useful only for this celebration. They do not wear them throughout life, but they make us have a good time. In church life, we condemn disguise, without realizing our Pharisaism.
While we need the repentance and honesty like that of the Publican, the throw off of the mask that conceals our inner self, the decision for a new start, we prefer the complacency towards the great idea for our ego.
But if we reveal our real face, we will do harm to both us and others. This is the reason to excuse ourselves.
But throwing away the mask is an opportunity for transfiguration. Besides, humbling ourselves in front of loneliness, accepting of mistakes, asking God for mercy pave the way for the salvation! This is what we desperately need.