— Geronda, how do spiritual laws work?
— I’ll explain: just as there are physical laws in nature, there are also laws in spiritual life. For example, the higher you throw some heavy object, the harder it will fall down and break. This is a physical law.
In spiritual life, the higher someone exalts in his pride, the worse his spiritual fall will be. The degree of “personal injury” in this case will depend on the extent of personal pride. Thus, a proud man rises, reaches a certain limit and then falls and breaks his face. “All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12). This is a spiritual law.
There is however a significant difference between physical and spiritual laws. Physical laws are relentless and cannot be changed, while spiritual laws come from the All-Merciful God and therefore they can be altered by His mercy. That is to say, if a person immediately notices himself becoming proud and says, “God, nothing that I have is truly mine, but I am proud, forgive me!” he is spared from damage, because his fall is preceded by contrition of heart and repentance.
The same applies to the Gospel phrase “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (see: Matt. 26: 52). It means essentially that if I “take the sword”, it would be fair for me to “perish by the sword”. But if I realize my mistake, and my conscience cuts me like a knife, and I ask God for forgiveness, then spiritual laws cease to operate and I receive the remedy of God’s love. In other words, we see that God changes His inscrutable ways when He sees people change. When a disobedient child comes to his senses, repents and is tormented by his guilty conscience, his Father caresses him with love and consoles him. The possibility for a person to change God’s decisions is a very important characteristic of spiritual laws. If you do evil, be prepared for a smack from God, but if you repent, He will bless you.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds