March 12, 2020
Tonight we concluded homily 71 and began homily 72. Once again Isaac serves us solid food. He presents us with an image of humility and faith perhaps unlike anything that we have ever considered before and calls us not to allow it to become a dead letter but rather something that raises us up to the fullness of life and love. Can we let go of our worldly knowledge, our natural knowledge that comes through the senses and is shaped by the intellect and rather allow ourselves to comprehend what God reveals through and in faith? For it means allowing ourselves to become fools in the eyes of the world, to become like children, like infants, unable to communicate clearly but able to receive the love and protection that the Father offers us.
In this we are called to be like Christ himself, who in all things says “Thy will be done.” Can we entrust ourselves so radically to the providence of God that we lose all fear and anxiety and become aware of Him and Him alone – trusting that we are in His care and allow, as Isaac says, “Grace to hold us in the palm of her hand”?
Unless we live in this radical humility and faith we will have no inkling of the essence of God. But we will know instead is the distorted image of our own minds and imagination. Are we willing to receive the paltry alms that such a limited faith offers? Do we truly desire and ling for the Heavenly Bridegroom? Do we desire God as He is in Himself?
July 25, 2019
We’ve come to a very special homily of Saint Isaac – homily 62. Here he begins to guide us along the path of the spiritual life and battle. He opens our eyes to what the struggle holds out to us - to live in the love of God and to know the consolation He alone offers. The natural man, as it were, experiences only fear; in particular fear of death. The one who develops some knowledge of his own passions and begins to struggle with them experiences growth and health but continues to sit in fear of judgment. But the one who has wholly given his life over to God not only loses that attraction to the passions but also loses all fear. He begins to taste the love of God and His sweetness. This is what draws him forward. There is nothing greater than joy in the Lord and nothing more to be desired the knowledge of him.
May 2, 2019
Tonight we concluded homily 55. Isaac discusses the nature divine fear, which is not fear of God but rather fear of losing what is most precious - our virtue. Such fear makes us vigilant and prayerful.
At the beginning of Homily 56 Isaac addresses how God makes use of involuntary afflictions to heal us and strengthen us. Like a surgeon, the Divine Physician delicately and with great mercy operates corresponding to the severity of the illness.