Philokalia Ministries
The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part VII & Hypothesis VI Part I

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part VII & Hypothesis VI Part I

June 29, 2021

“What will become of me?“ Such a simple question but one that clarifies the importance of the moment for us as men and women of faith. Where do we live our lives? What do we seek, what do we love and desire? These simple questions turn out to be the most important for us because in the end they shape our identity and the path that we take.

Moving on to Hypothesis VI, we began to consider the end of that path which is the glory of Heaven and of the Saints. We must foster a longing and develop an appetite now for the Divine. We must have a “nostalgia” for our homeland, remembering in hope the promises of God and understanding that while we are in this world we are also in exile. We are to seek to allow ourselves to be nourished more and more upon the things that foster not only strength of virtue but depth of desire for God.

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Text of chat during the group:

00:03:46 carolnypaver: Does the baby Miron have a Confirmation name?

00:29:39 Joseph Muir: Put the book title here in the chat, Daniel!!!!!!!

00:30:28 Erick Chastain: Lauris?

00:31:28 Daniel Allen: Laurus. The only thing I have ever read that is similar to it are the works of Dostoyevsky.

00:32:30 Erick Chastain: I have a copy but I haven't read it!

00:37:52 Joseph Muir: I’m a huge Russian literature fan,  Dostoyevsky in particular (I’ve probably read the Brothers Karamazov 3 times)

00:40:14 renwitter: I am as well Joe! I read Laurus a while back, and have always loved Dostoyevsky, but I have to say that Solzhenitsyn is #1 for me.

00:42:08 Joseph Muir: I’ve never read anything from Solzhenitsyn, but am more than open to recommendations!

01:02:34 renwitter: Wow. That is amazing Ambrose. Thank you.

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-eight

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-eight

June 24, 2021

Tonight we began Letter 58.  St. Theophan begins to teach Anastasia about importance of prayer in the spiritual battle. He has already shown her the various stages of temptation that lead to the development of a passion. However, he acknowledges that such understanding serves little use when one is in the midst of warfare. What is most important is rejecting the thoughts, feelings, and desires that lead to a passion and to do so with extreme prejudice. This is the one instance where wrath is allowed. We must strike down a sinful thought immediately. However, in the face of the relentless activity of the demons this may not be fully effective. In fact, most often it is not. Rather, what is most important in the spiritual life is the constant turning of the mind and the heart toward God through brief aspirations; especially the Jesus Prayer. We must not let our thoughts wander. Nor, must we simply seek to expose the obscenity of the passion. We must not enter a verbal altercation. It is only in turning the mind and the heart to God swiftly that prevent the temptations from penetrating. When the eye of the heart is fixed upon God we rest upon the everlasting rock. We find our security in the spiritual battle in God alone. Thus, we must flee to Him.

 

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Text of chat during the group:

00:05:26 Art: Fr.  David I’ll be listening online.  With things going back to normal I’m back doing the “soccer mom” thing but in my case it’s the Jiu Jitsu dad.

00:05:55 Art: glad to be here

00:06:09 Art: nope sitting in the dojo

00:17:42 renwitter: Reservations for The Ladder of Divine Ascent books are now open! If you would like a book, please text me (Ren) at 603-341-4974 or email me at info@pittsburghoratory.org. Books can be picked up at the Oratory, or shipped (at cost) to any of the States or Canada. Please use the following link to pay for your copy once your reservation is confirmed: www.pghco.org/books . There are three price points: $26 for the book, $34ish for the book + shipping in the US, and $46 for the book and shipping to Canada. We have 46 copies, so we should be able to accommodate everyone who would like one, at least at first. God bless!

00:18:22 renwitter: pghco.org/books

00:18:41 Lisa Weidner: Thank you, Ren

00:20:44 renwitter: Also, for anyone wondering. The edition Father David will be using will be the blue, hardcover edition currently being published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery Press

00:55:19 Andrew Ewell: Thanks Ren that's great

00:57:08 sue and mark: yes, thank you ren

00:58:24 renwitter: Jesus Prayers all the time!!

01:04:29 Andrew Ewell: Beautiful story

01:05:32 Andrew Ewell: Yes!!

01:15:42 Art: Welcome Ashley.  Glad to see someone else from The Valley (Phx)

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part VI

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part VI

June 22, 2021

Such power in a few words. Perhaps this is what makes the writings of the Fathers so compelling. In a few brief sentences or in the short story they capture for us the very essence of the life of faith. We begin to see with a kind of radical simplicity, a simplicity perhaps with which we are uncomfortable, the clear focus that we are to have in our pursuit of God. We must allow nothing to prevent our movement towards Him. We have been promised a share in life eternal; where the joy of life will have no end, where intimacy will have no limitations, where there will be no fear or anxiety. This is what our hearts are to be set upon; this is what spurs us on to travel the narrow path in the pursuit of God and the things of the kingdom.

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Text of chat during the group:

00:19:00 Lisa Weidner: Hello,

00:19:17 Lisa Weidner: What page are we reading?  thank you

00:19:24 carolnypaver: 44

00:20:00 Lisa Weidner: thanks!

00:25:25 Joseph Muir: This passage reminds me of a common Byzantine prayer for the dead:

“O Christ our God, with the saints grant rest to the soul of your departed servant, in a place where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing, but everlasting life.”

00:25:52 carolnypaver: Lovely.

00:53:51 Tyler Woloshyn: Once again it connects to me liturgically with this excerpt.  Sixth Ode for Preparation of Holy Communion: "Whirled about in the abyss of sin, I appeal to the unfathomable abyss of Your Compassion: Raise me, O God, from corruption."   "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."  "O Savior, sanctify my mind and soul, my heart and body, and deem me worthy to approach Your awesome Mysteries without condemnation." "Cast me not from Your presence, nor deprive me of Your Holy Spirit." "O Christ, grant that I may be ride of my passions and grow in Your grace. May I be strengthened and confirmed in life by communion of Your holy Mysteries."

00:54:53 carolnypaver: Wow!

01:01:36 Eric Williams: I remember when watching Brother Sun, Sister Moon was a traditional experience at Oratory retreats. ;)

01:02:26 Tyler Woloshyn: It has been a movie that a vocations director recommended people watch. On my to watch list.

01:02:54 Carole DiClaudio: Good to know; I’ve never watched it.

01:03:36 carolnypaver: Very 1970’s but the message is there.

01:06:24 Wayne Mackenzie: Brother Sun, Brother Moon..

01:07:20 carolnypaver: Yep.

01:08:19 Carole DiClaudio: ??

01:09:16 Wayne Mackenzie: It's the name of the movie about St.Fancis

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-seven Part III

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-seven Part III

June 17, 2021

Tonight St. Theophan continues to take Anastasia through the various stages where one gradually gives  oneself over to the passion. There is no obligation to commit a sin; there is only a kind of inner self-delusion taking place. We might not commit a sin but nonetheless we are giving ourselves over to the inclination and by considering the thoughts that lead to the passion they become written upon our hearts. This being so, we inevitably become more vulnerable to future attacks. It is for this reason that we must prevent ourselves from getting to the point where we begin to pre-meditate on how to commit an act of sin. Theophan warns Anastasia that the fear of God as easily set aside as is our conscience. Both are dismissed and we move swiftly away from them in order to feel uninhibited in the committing of a sin. Having reached this stage we are unable to strike it out of our hearts easily simply through a kind of verbal denial. The inclination to the sin attaches itself to us and we begin to taste its unpleasant fruits. Grace then deserts us and we feel the weight of the sin crush us. We expect paradise from the satisfaction of the passion. We mimic Adam and Eve who gave themselves over to the delusion - “For ye shall be as gods.” However, when the delusion fails, we find ourselves simply diminished and our hearts filled with anguish and emptiness. And so, Theophan tells Anastasia that she must act quickly to banish such thoughts, desires, and feelings as soon as they manifest themselves. Procrastination is our enemy. Drive away the thought, the feeling, the desire, and the inclination toward the passion disappears.

 

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Text of chat during the group:

00:23:06 Mark Cummings: This book should be required reading in Catholic high schools

00:23:53 Joseph Muir: Sadly, I imagine that it wouldn’t readily be considered, due to the author be a saint of the Orthodox Church, and not Catholic

00:24:57 Mark Cummings: sadly, probably true

00:32:46 Joseph Muir: To be fair, I do think that, in a very real sense, Eastern Christianity (including Catholicism) is Christianity’s best kept secret. Point being, many simply never come in contact with some of these great writers, and some even know the Greek fathers of the church do the degree that they’re commemorated on the western calendar. The difference with an Eastern Christian is that the theology of these saints is lived and breathed in the daily Byzantine prayers

00:33:50 Joseph Muir: One is far more likely to come in contact with non-Catholic luminaries like CS Lewis than St Theophane the Recluse

00:37:56 Mark Cummings: It took me 55 years to find Saint Theophan. I read 7 or so CS Lewis books by the time I was 18

00:37:58 John Clark: I think the nuns that taught at my school missed the memo on the anger passion..We were criminally assaulted numerous times....personally 20 times ....mostly beat with boards.....the last time for me was a round house sucker punch closed fist by a beefy nun in the 7th grade..

00:39:02 Wayne Mackenzie: Agreed, including the Divine Liturgy, the hours and other prayers have the theme of repentance and purity of heart.

00:39:03 Andrew Ewell: Would Cassian’s list of passions be a straightforward list across the board of the passions which the Father’s have in mind?

00:40:24 Andrew Ewell: Ok

00:45:07 Joseph Muir: I’m sorry that you had to go through that, John Clark😞

00:46:57 Mark Cummings: John, that is horrible. Robin might say "Holy PTSD, Batman" I am sorry to hear that you went through that

00:47:18 Wayne Mackenzie: John, Corporal punishment was very common in schools at one time..

00:53:10 St. Elias: “I became as a deaf man…” Psalm 37 (Matins)

00:54:34 Erick Chastain: The difference between theophany/climacus and Aquinas is the difference between the stoics and Aristotle basically

00:56:14 Edward Kleinguetl: Abba Isaiah of Scetis believes that the passions were distorted:  The person, then, who wishes to attain this natural state removes all his carnal desires in order that God may establish him in the state according to nature. Desire is the natural state of intellect because without desire for God there is no love … but the enemy twisted this into shameful desire, a desire for every impurity. Ambition, also, is the natural state of the intellect for without ambition there is no progress toward God, as it is written in the epistle, be ambitious of the higher gifts [1 Cor. 12:31]. However, our godly ambition has been turned into an ambition that is contrary to nature, so we are jealous, envious, and deceitful toward each other.

00:56:28 Erick Chastain: Aquinas harmonizes the two as follows: the passions according to the eastern fathers (influenced by the stoics through evagrius) are inordinate passions in the Aquinas sense. For Aquinas, the passions themselves if they are according to nature/reason are without sin

00:57:12 Andrew Ewell: Thanks Eric

00:57:33 Joseph Muir: I stumbled upon this last night, but found it to be a fascinating read (it’s a long discussion/debate between Catholics and Orthodox regarding various aspects of Greek vs Latin theology; I found the arguments on both sides to generally be very cogent and respectful, with my hot take being that our differences are far less vast than some of our more polemical apologists may make it seem): http://forums.orthodoxchristianity.net/threads/body-blood-soul-and-divinity-of-the-eucharist.77167/?fbclid=IwAR28KWJBA2fR0i27SiTkzOea19PjCWN9lfmkwGduGK8OuEqFtiJT8-JcvTs

00:59:46 Andrew Ewell: Thanks Joe

01:03:47 sue and mark: exodus 90 is great!

01:04:38 Mark Cummings: Exodus 90 is great...I would not tie it directly to the desert fathers though

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part V

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part V

June 15, 2021

We continue this evening with our study of Hypothesis V - on the remembrance of death and final judgment. While this might fill the minds and the hearts of many with trepidation, many of the fathers see the remembrance of death as the essential work in the spiritual life. The reason for this and the intention behind it is not to fill the heart with anxiety but rather to turn the heart toward God Who alone promises us forgiveness and the fullness of life and love in Him. The Scriptures tell us that God is set upon our salvation and so hope is always to be found in Him. His love for us is unquenchable. As we have heard, the mere turning of the mind and the heart toward him brings upon us a flood of mercy and grace. The remembrance of death and judgment are simply an aid to remind us not to take this gift lightly. God has given us everything and has nothing greater to give – the perfect love of His only begotten Son. It is that love that is eternal and we will either respond to that love or we don’t. Now is the moment of salvation and how we respond perpetuates itself both in this world and in the world come unless we turn toward God in repentance. Once our eyes close for the last time that opportunity - to turn toward the embrace that is ever reaching out towards us - passes.

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Text of chat during the group:

00:02:09 carolnypaver: Wow! Sounds exhausting!

00:44:55 Joseph Muir: Here are two prayers from Byzantine  vespers, according to the Gregorian calendar, from earlier today, in a similar vein to the one that I read earlier:

O Christ, You are the only sinless One, the only patient One, the only Source of goodness! Look upon my misery and affliction. Wipe away all the scars of my wounds. In your mercy, save your servant; that having driven away all clouds of despair, O Savior, I may glorify Your supreme goodness!

Ponder your deeds, O my wretched soul! Behold how they are all defiled with filth! Behold your nakedness and your isolation. For you are in danger of being separated from God and His holy angels and of being delivered to eternal torments. Be vigilant, then, and make haste to cry aloud: “O Savior, I have sinned! Grant me Your forgiveness and save me!”

00:48:21 Joseph Muir: ¡De nada!

00:53:35 Wayne Mackenzie: Don't we send ourselves to Hell, rather than God?

00:54:35 Eric Williams: "There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'" C. S. Lewis

01:05:39 Lilly: I’ve never seen that Icon before. I will have to look it up. What is it called?

01:06:54 Erick Chastain: except judas

01:07:14 Erick Chastain: the patristic witness to judas being in hell is pretty clear

01:07:23 Erick Chastain: /consistent

01:07:28 Fr. John (Ivan) Chirovsky: icon of fearful or awesome judgement, aka last judgement, sometimes might also be called icon of or for Meatfare Sunday.

01:09:09 Fr. John (Ivan) Chirovsky: in the Coptic orthodox tradition there is a point of view that Judas Iscariot repented between the time when he jumped and when the rope broke his neck, but I cannot find the exact quote.

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-seven Part II

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-seven Part II

June 10, 2021

Tonight we picked up with Letter 57 where St. Theophan is discussing with Anastasia the various stages of the development of the passions; the movement from feelings, the provocation of desire, aided by a multitude of thoughts, that then gives over to concrete resolution to commit to sin. There is a kind of premeditation that is fostered by giving ourselves over to these realities and stages that Theophan describes. If unchecked we begin to plot even in a half-conscious way how we are going to act and complete the sin. It is then that the conscience is violated and the commands of God are disregarded. In this struggle we are ever so capable of rationalizing sin and the path to sin. Yet, what we are called to is to put on the mind of Christ. It cannot be our own ego or our reason that becomes the standard of judgment. Rather, we must allow ourselves to be drawn into the Paschal mystery; we must put on the mind of Christ in such a profound way that it is Christ acting within us. Only then will we begin to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives; willing to be obedient to the Father and to His commands even when cannot see things clearly. Our love for Christ must be so great that our asceticism takes on the shape described by Theophan and the fathers; that is, we  become willing to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ - bringing every thought before Him for His blessing or judgment.

 

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Text of chat during the group:

00:18:21 Gilmar Siqueira: And Brazil. :)

00:18:34 carolnypaver: Awesome!

00:18:47 Mark Cummings: Thank you for doing this remotely!

00:28:12 Gilmar Siqueira: Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: the Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

00:28:33 Jim Milholland: Thank you!

00:45:37 Eric Williams: Turn the other cheek, love your enemy, do not resist an evil man - but in parking lot after mass, all bets are off. ;) #roadrage

00:56:04 Wayne Mackenzie: When you get this point it can be to late.. and the sin is committed

01:08:04 Eric Williams: Categories of sins too often allow us to find the minimum we must do or how much can get away with. Instead, they should be used to help us better see what to avoid and how to seek after the will of God. We should seek maximal holiness, rather than just minimal sinfulness.

01:09:03 iPhone: Venial or mortal. Sin is sin. It separates us from God. 100% agree with Father.

01:10:07 Erick Chastain: Ambroise de Lombez says that the pride to have an "orderly mind" in one's thoughts leads to scrupulosity

01:10:58 iPhone: ^ Exactly. OCD (me lol)

01:12:49 Eric Williams: Despairing that all sin damns us because God is just is the Christless cross, and rationalizing all sin as acceptable because God is merciful is the crossless Christ.

01:23:49 Eric Williams: This discussion of aggression and retaliation is very timely as I struggle to respond in a Christlike way to a very difficult and infuriating neighbor. Deo gratias!

01:24:00 Erick Chastain: anger according to st Thomas Aquinas is any kind of desire to take action to set something right

01:24:34 Erick Chastain: ...it's not necessarily the emotion which leads to violent action

01:24:52 Erick Chastain: ...for example, just calling the cops is already an act of anger

01:24:53 iPhone: Amen!

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part IV

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part IV

June 8, 2021

We continued tonight our study of Hypothesis V where the Fathers speak to us of the importance of the remembrance of death and the remembrance of judgment.

We began with the thoughts of Abba Isaiah the seeks to teach us about the three things that preserve virtue; sorrow for sin, tears for our sins, and the ceaseless recollection of death. These three hold before our minds the significance of the present moment.  Every moment for us is freighted with destiny because every moment is an opportunity for us to embrace the love and the grace of God or to neglect it. We have to let go of the illusion not only that we will have time enough for repentance but also the illusion that simply living a good or a moral life is in fact living a Christian life. We may pursue virtue as a commodity; something that is gathered and stored and that builds up our self-image and self-esteem. Such things have their own value but they are not necessarily reflective of the fact that we have embraced Christ and the life that he has made possible for us through the cross. We are called to the divine life and all of our words, thoughts and actions are to be reflective of Christ. We are to be living icons of the gospel. We can approach our lives with a kind of indifference when it comes to their spiritual significance. We can expend a lot of energy and be willing struggle to pursue our own ends in this world but we will accept willingly being wounded and bitten over and over again by the spiritual dragon and bearing his stings of distraction.  We can allow ourselves to be swallowed up by sin or evil daily and pay it no mind. It is for this reason that the remembrance of death and judgment is important. It speaks to us of what God has given us but also the weight and the significance of our response.

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-six Part II and Letter Fifty-seven

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-six Part II and Letter Fifty-seven

June 3, 2021

We began this evening with Letter 56.  St. Theophan again takes up the subject of the passions. If we can capture in one word what he is trying to foster within Anastasia it is this: “fierceness”. The spiritual battle is something that takes place at every single moment and we have to learn to act swiftly in acknowledging who the enemy is and where he is seeking to lead us. We cannot ignore the fact there is a kind of duplicity that exists within us. We can hate sin and love it at the same time. We can be engaged in the spiritual battle but in the deeper recesses of our hearts we can be attracted and delighted by the approach of thoughts that would later lead us into sin. We must lose our sympathy for such things. We are to become angry with sin and drive it out from the human heart as Christ drove out the money-changers from the temple. What has been entrusted to us is precious. It is the very life and love of God and we have been made sons and daughters of God. We must not be willing to sacrifice that identity. This means that we approach the passions with unrestrained and antagonistic action. There is no room for self-indulgence.

In letter 57, St. Theophan tells her that guilt begins at the point when we favorably incline ourselves toward a passion. The passion itself is at enmity with God. Therefore, we must interrogate and examine it very quickly and then treat it in a hostile manner. We must treat it as we would treat anything that is an enemy of God - with scornful rejection.

 

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Text of chat during the group:

00:35:06 Joseph Muir: “[E]ach person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”

James 1:14-15

00:43:31 renwitter: Anyone else having an amazing flash back to Aragorn cutting off the head of the Lord of the Black Gate? Best. Moment. Ever.

00:44:39 carolnypaver: ; )

00:49:13 Eric Ash: I like from that image it also demonstrates to us that there's times we have to trust in others instead of taking on every battle we are offered. To be aware of where were called to be, and also where we aren't called to be.

00:55:03 Lilly Crystal: What quote is that from?

01:09:58 Eric Ash: It's sounds like in discerning guilt from shame here is that guilt motivates us to reaffirm ourselves to back to God, and shame tells us fall away and quit trying. And that anger towards passion versus anger towards self is similar.

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part III

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis V Part III

June 1, 2021

We continued this evening with our study of Hypothesis V and the writings of Saint Ephraim on the subject of the importance of remembering death and judgment. Like so many of the Fathers, Ephraim stresses the need to prepare ourselves for that final journey that inevitably comes to us all – the moment of death. He also speaks to us about how the enemy will try to make us delay or put aside our attention to this reality. When it comes to life in this world death, in a sense, is the ultimate master. Death, of course, does not have the last the last word. God has spoken His Word of Life and through it has opened up a path for us to experience the fullness of the life of the Holy Trinity. The enemy, however, will try to convince us that we are young and have a great amount of time; that we can put off repentance until after we lived life in this world to its fullest. However, Ephraim tells us that the one who is truly blessed is the one who has carried the yoke of Christ from his earliest days. In fact, this is the greatest gift that a parent can give to their child. From the moment of their baptism they enter into this profound relationship with God. To be taught to embrace the gift of being a child of God is the greatest thing that a parent can offer their son or daughter. The Fathers, like Christ in the gospel, want us have no illusions about the fact that how we respond to the love perpetuates itself unto eternity. What is offered to us is Love; and that Love can be embraced or it can be scorned and neglected. The Fathers pleas with us as Christ did to embrace life, to embrace love. This is what Christ thirsts for – that His love would be requited.

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Text of chat during the group:

00:59:50 renwitter: That parable always sounds a bit catty if it is not explained well :-D

01:05:11 Erick Chastain: that was in one of the psalms

01:14:28 Eric Williams: Fortunately, when I joined the Church in 2000, Fr David was still preaching fire and brimstone, so my catechesis was not warm, fuzzy, or weak. ;)

01:24:18 Nicole: Sorry! Did you want our microphones on so we are hearing each other pray?

01:24:43 Nicole: I forgot LOL

Have a great week everyone, thank you Father :)

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-five and Letter Fifty-six

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Fifty-five and Letter Fifty-six

June 1, 2021

We began with Letter 55 about Warfare with the Passions. Once again Theophan shows himself to be a magnificent teacher. He knows Anastasia well; her strengths, her background, her desire for God and - - her weaknesses, which are few, namely inexperience. She desires above all to embrace the full dignity of the Christian.  And it is this goal that Theophan wants to help her achieve. He begins to reveal to her the nature of the warfare with the passions. Often they are very attractive and so we can suddenly be drawn into them and linger in conversation with them. It is for this reason that Theophan gradually begins to teach her that she must not act with pity when it comes to dealing with her own thoughts. No matter how trivial or insignificant they appear, she must immediately call upon God and drive them out of her mind. If she inadvertently falls or is overtaken by one of the passions, she should not be anxious. Rather Anastasia should humbly repent at the passion that has slipped in and then adopt measures for the future in order that she might be more guarded. One method that she must embrace is to avoid self-indulgence. It is the Traitor. Self-indulgence is to blame for all the troubles in the spiritual life. It leads us into the kind of self-pity that inclines us to give sway to our thoughts without examining them and bringing them before God for his blessing or judgment.

In Letter 56 he begins to show Anastasia the slightest movements of the passions. He tells her that she has made great strides in her life and can see good and evil. But in reality she has not been tested. Again, one of her weaknesses is that she could regard stronger passions with indifference; thinking that they are no great thing or that they are not dangerous. When this happens they go from being small things to becoming large things. She will no longer be able to drive them away with a single unfavorable glance. If she wants to maintain Christian dignity, he tells her, she must become a more fierce warrior.

 

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Text of chat during the group:

00:12:46 Joseph Muir: I got to see Queen + Adam Lambert in Central Park, in September 2019, Eric😀

00:20:22 Joseph Muir: I can tell that Fr David is big fan of country music😆

00:20:37 Eric Williams: despondency, the demon at noon!

00:36:32 Eric Williams: except when people mistakenly refer to the deceased as angels - that is all that seems to be left :(

00:37:30 renwitter: At the Oratory’s Children’s Holy Hour of Adoration we always say a prayer to our guardian angels. We can bring it back!

00:39:49 Wayne Mackenzie: At our parish we recite the prayer to St Michael at the end of the Liturgy.

00:41:18 Eric Williams: It's rampant on social media

00:43:39 Joseph Muir: It’s almost like a new form of the ancient gnostic heresy, where people presume to have  some “secret knowledge” about how the world works, all of the scandals and happenings throughout our own society and the world

00:48:35 Mark Cummings: Cubs are up 3 - 0

00:48:48 Mark Cummings: thought pirates fans might want to know

00:50:49 Lilly Crystal: Self reflection is super important. If we just confess sins and don’t plan to change in our actions, we will not mature spiritually

00:51:48 Wayne Mackenzie: For me need to quit watching the news or get absorbed in what is happening.

00:52:05 Larry Barlow: So true.  Gotta have a plan!

00:52:39 Wayne Mackenzie: limiting my time to it or not agitation sets in

00:54:33 Joseph Muir: So many have such a politicized faith, and/or faithisized politics that they’ve convinced themselves that they’re doing “the work of the Lord”

00:58:37 Lilly Crystal: Eastern penance is so new to me. It was awesome to experience my first Byzantine confession last month :)

01:03:00 Joseph Muir: A common Byzantine prayer before receiving communion: receive me now, O Son of God, as a participant in Your Mystical Supper. For I will not betray Your mysteries to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss like Judas. But, like the thief, I confess to You: remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom!

01:03:51 carolnypaver: I LOVE that prayer!  It is so beautiful.

01:04:34 Lilly Crystal: It is one of my fav too! Such beautiful prayer chanted as well

01:05:01 renwitter: Well shoot - no advantage for me :-D

01:06:42 Eric Williams: Theophan is following the Pauline sequence: praise, chastise, encourage

01:07:00 Joseph Muir: ❤

01:09:42 Mark Cummings: Psalm 137?

01:11:26 carolnypaver: Happy Feast Day, Father!

01:11:46 Michael Murton: Thanks Father David...looking forward to next week!

01:12:34 renwitter: A good Philip Neri quote for this group: “Heaven is not for poltroons!”

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