Thank you to everyone who participated in tonight's group on St. Theophan's Letters on the Spiritual Life to Anastasia. Great conversation as always.
Tonight we read letter 74 entitled “Yearning for the monastic life”. Anastasia has made a decision to enter the monastery; she has decided to give herself over completely to God in mind and body. And yet, Theophan senses within her a kind of urgency that is pressing her forward and making her want to rush the moment of her entrance. He wants her, however, to pray and wait with patience. He does not want her to enter the religious life in a willful fashion precisely because she’s entering in order to set aside her will in the spirit of obedience. Thus, she should strive to let God act in her life and open the door for her to enter in the time He desires. For the moment she is to focus upon embracing the life of a monastic at home; deepening her spiritual life, living in obedience to her parents, making herself a novice in relationship to all of her siblings. She is to be, as it were, a soldier in training; humbling herself and preparing herself for the rigors of the religious life. Such waiting takes nothing from her. In fact it serves her by allowing her to mature emotionally and spiritually precisely that she might endure in her vocation. He reminds her of the history behind such a vocation. In the beginning monasteries did not exist - nor vows. What existed were men and women filled with a desire and yearning for God and it is this spirit that she must foster. She must enflame the desire for God within her own heart by being faithful in the moment. She must wait and adapt her life and her habits to those in the monastery. But most of all she must wait upon the Lord who says “Come follow Me”!
Text of chat during the group:
00:06:26 Rachel: How do I get a snazzy picture like that??
00:19:23 Anthony: And some people had her religious desire, but God (I suppose) chose them never to enter a community, such as Benedict Labre or the Pilgrim of the Russian classic.
00:28:05 Edward Kleinguetl: "Gentle, organic approach" -- love it!
00:31:20 Anthony: FYI under the Lombard Laws of the 600's to about 800s or so, Vowed and nonvowed persons living a religious life were both recognized as having special protection against violation by criminals. One living the life but not vowed as treated as or just about as at the state of a religious person.
00:38:09 Anthony: "The Ancient Path" is Talbot's book about his community
01:14:26 Wayne Mackenzie: got to go see you monday
01:16:24 Anthony: We in the West are sometimes formed by a relatively small cadre of Western Catholics, too....and that is magnified by the psychologies of certain persons who choose messages to magnify to the rest of us.
01:17:11 Rachel: I do have to say that put here in California, I am blessed with a wonderful grace filled parish. 🙏
01:17:31 Edward Kleinguetl: Rachel, that is great!
01:20:38 Rachel: Even though I do and have encountered hesitation about the desert Fathers, when I point out how there are western Saints who teach and lived the same way, who loved the desert Fathers and read quotes from the desert Fathers, people start usually listening. I then refer them to the Oratory talks.
01:21:27 Edward Kleinguetl: Evagrios the Solitary: “If you are a theologian you truly pray. If you truly pray you are a theologian.” This is what we lost in the West when spirituality was separated from theology.
01:21:48 Rachel: I think I am, but, have never been. I know about th Orthodox parish downtown and go pray Vespers sometimes with them. a beautiful church.
01:22:02 Rachel: I am in Sacramento.
01:23:45 Rachel: I'm I'm rad Trad too lol
01:24:15 Anthony: Pope Francis elevated St. Gregory of Narek as Dr of the Church though he was canonically in Armenian Apostolic Church. And WOW is Gregory's works beautiful.
01:24:45 Edward Kleinguetl: Details 😀
01:26:39 Miron Kerul Kmec: Thank you Father
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