January 24, 2019
Tonight we continued reading homily number 52. St Isaac begins to unpack for us the difference between worldly knowledge and the knowledge that comes through faith. Faith always transcends the world and lifts us up above the limits of nature. In many ways faith shakes knowledge to its foundations. With the eyes of faith we see that nothing is impossible and that even if we were stripped of everything in this world we still possess all. Those who cling to worldly knowledge are always filled with the kind of anxiety, seeking ways to protect themselves from reality or to protect what they possess. They seek to use every way and means to assure themselves of what it is that they see.
But faith is never vanquished by anything. What can human knowledge offer in the face of open conflict or war, in particular war against invisible beings? Faith offers us unspeakable wealth - the very riches of the kingdom itself. To turn away from faith is to fall into destitution, to freely return to a place of slavery. So often we cast aside the pearl of great price, sharing in the Sonship of Christ for the limited things of this world.
August 16, 2018
We picked up this evening with homily 47 where Saint Isaac continues to discuss the distinction between natural knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Natural knowledge provides us with the ability to distinguish between good and evil. When we foster this knowledge and embrace it, repentance is born in the heart and we turn more more fully away from our sin toward God. It is then that we can receive the gift of faith through which we obtain spiritual knowledge. Such faith gives rise to the vision of the divine. We see more fully our identity in Christ and the life He has made possible for us. What is laborious and toilsome then becomes light and easy because we are no longer driven by fear or sorrow alone but by love.
In Homily 48, St. Isaac begins to take us through various aspects of the spiritual life starting with the necessity of humility in all things. It reaches its perfection when we see our weakness and poverty fully.
Along with humility we must foster a spirit of gratitude; avoiding the murmuring disposition that arises when we lose sight of God’s mercy and love. When suffering or when faced with evil we must not lose sight of the fact that God is the Lord of Love and the Governor of History. All things are in His hands despite the evil that so often manifests itself within the world and even the Church.