Tonight we picked up with Hypothesis 21. One is not to reveal the thoughts of the heart and the mind or one’s temptations to others indiscriminately. Rather, we are to seek out those who have the gift of discernment and experiential knowledge. Only those who are engaged in spiritual warfare, who know their own minds and hearts well can speak to the struggles of others. Much damage can be and has been done by those who set themselves up as teachers of the faith and the spiritual life and yet not living it themselves in any measure. What we are to look for in an elder are the particular gifts of the Spirit that arise from living the gospel fully; humility, repentance, obedience, tenderness gentleness, charity, mercy. In order for one struggling with their sins and the shame that often accompanies them to find courage to acknowledge them, they need an elder who speaks to them with love; a love that reflects Christ himself. How can we speak of what we do not know? We cannot teach the faith or guide others from a position of power but rather imitate Christ in approaching others in a humble and selfless fashion.
Text of chat during the group:
00:07:57 FrDavid Abernethy: Public
Prayer of St. John Chrysostom before reading spiritual texts.
O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them, that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting; For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.
00:11:04 FrDavid Abernethy: page 170
00:16:56 Tyler Woloshyn: Glory be to Jesus Christ! Good evening everyone.
00:27:02 David Robles: According to the Philokalia the stages of sin/temptation are
00:34:29 Anthony: How do these stages of sin correlate to the Roman distinctions between Imperfections, Venial sins and Mortal Sins? Or is that too big a topic or a harmful focus on what is evil within us instead of focus on what is good, noble, etc?
00:34:41 Wayne: page?
00:43:25 Josie: "preach and if you have to, speak"
00:56:58 Josie: is there a difference between the evil one hearing the confession of our thoughts in private vs in public? can't he hear them in both cases?
00:57:07 Josie: sorry sent by accident
00:59:28 Anthony: The protection of the mind is maybe the really important problem with social media - as one mindlessly absorbs, one tunes into so many different minds putting themselves out for consumption; it's more indiscriminate than TV since you can get so many channels one right after the other.
01:07:55 Tyler Woloshyn: Some priests are not psychologists nor should pretend to be in the confessional
01:08:23 sue and mark: yup
01:14:26 Josie: so does a confession with a bad priest still give us grace?
01:18:16 Ambrose Little, OP: Yes, if he's ordained and pronounces absolution. Personal qualities don't impede the sacramental grace.
01:28:31 carolnypaver: My question is from section C. What about sharing what we learned in Spiritual direction with one’s spouse, especially concerning children?
01:29:17 carolnypaver: Thank you!
01:29:28 Josie: 1 sec
01:29:31 Josie: typing
01:29:46 Josie: in AA they teach you to tell your story
01:29:51 Josie: to help others heal
01:30:00 Josie: my priest says that's good
01:30:03 Josie: yes
01:34:12 Josie: thank you father!!!!
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