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Archive for the 'Eucharist' Category

Tonight we concluded Homily 46. St.  Isaac again expresses the centrality of the holy Eucharist in giving us the strength to live and love as Christ desires. It is through the love that we receive at his hand that we are transformed. In Christ, the sinful, the sick and the hopeless find the desire for holiness, healing and trust in the promise of the Kingdom. 
 
In Homily 47 St Isaac begins to discuss the distinction between natural and spiritual knowledge. We have all been gifted with the capacity to discern between good and evil. This natural knowledge, pursued and fostered, prepares us to receive the gift of faith and so the knowledge of God. If neglected however we will find ourselves impoverished, less than what we are to be as human beings; more like animals than those who have been made sons and daughters of God. We must live in a constant state of repentance, allowing it to draw us back to God and to the full measure of our humanity. Only then can we be raised up to share in the fullness of the life of God and experience the hope of eternity.

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Tonight we began reading homily 46 of St Isaac the Syrian’s Ascetical Homilies. We come to a beautiful passage in his writing that speaks to us about where our strength comes to live the life that we’ve been called to as Christians. Isaac begins by discussing the purification of the eyes of the soul. It is through these eyes that we are able to behold the hidden glory of God concealed in the nature of things as well as to behold the glory of His holy nature. Isaac ties this to the importance of repentance. We must ever be seeking out the mercy of God in order that we might grow in His grace.  It is upon this path of repentance that we are brought to paradise, which is the love of God. What Adam lost through disobedience and pride we can regain through obedience and humility.  So long as we remain attached to our sin our time in this world will be one of great labor and strife. Love however frees us from labor and toil for it raises us up into the very life of God. This union with God comes through receiving He who is the Bread of Life. It is at the altar and when nourished upon the bread of angels that we are made strong.

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Last night we concluded Homily 15. St. Isaac beautifully weaved his way back and forth between the dangers of talkativeness, gluttony and and the association with those who would pull one away from the path of sanctity and the contrasting virtues of silence, fasting and solitude. 
 
The greater the embrace of the virtues often brings with it a kind of isolation. The witness of virtue itself is challenging and elicits the fearful anger or resentment of others. 
 
One should lives one's life from Eucharist to Eucharist - desiring the nourishment that comes from and is a taste of heaven.  The more one longs for the Bread of Life and to be nourished upon the love of God the less one will be attracted to worldly pleasures that are often sought in its place. 
 
Living for God and from God must become the ultimate joy and pursuit at every moment of one's life. 

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