We continued along the central theme of Hypothesis 22 and those that follow - we are to avoid entering into the things of the world and so lose what is most life-giving.
The monk becomes a very powerful example of this danger because in his response to God’s call he leaves everything within the world in order to be wholly given over to God; to trust fully in God’s providence, to pray without ceasing and to embrace a life of modification. It is to embrace the angelic life. In contrast to fallen angels, these men set aside all that is worldly in order to be fixed in mind and body completely on the Kingdom. Their whole life becomes a sacrifice of praise.
To move away from this, becoming immersed once again in the things of this world is to become like a corpse. If one turns away from the source of life and salvation and turns to that which does not endure, then he himself will be reduced to nothing - to ashes. To understand this we have to have the faith to see the love and the life that God has given us in His Son. We must be able to see how precious it is; that it is the pearl of great price that we should be willing to sacrifice all to possess.
Anything less, any different vision of life immediately opens the door for us to seek fulfillment and hope in the things of this world. If we do not value God above all things then we will misdirect that desire which is at the very heart of our being. When this happens we cease to be human beings. We lose sight of our own dignity and the dignity of others. We will become like salt that has lost its saltness, as Jesus describes, and that has no worth.
Text of chat during the group:
00:11:28 FrDavid Abernethy: page 192,
00:35:07 Daniel Allen: Is there a difference between conversing with people and conversing with “worldly” people in this? Specifically, I think of saints meeting with many people every day to give them counsel or just to listen to them? Saints such as St. Seraphim of Sarov or (fictional) the monk Zosimov from the Brothers Karamasov? Is it that they purified their hearts and attained to true humility before then speaking with people? Or again is it that the issue is speaking with people about trivial or frivolous things that dissipate the monk?
00:36:34 Edward Kleinguetl: Those who become spiritual fathers do not seek to become one. Many spend many years (25+) in prayer and solitude before they may be requested to be a spiritual father and confessor.
00:37:24 Edward Kleinguetl: They are well versed in Sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers. They do not share their own opinion. All advice is grounded in Scriptures and the Fathers.
00:45:27 Anthony: On the motions within the heart and relating to other people in wise or unwise interactions. I think we have a mix of ignorance and vice in the interior life that lead us astray. Imagine that your life is like a garden. You planted pepper seeds, but you have never seen pepper seedlings. And, a wild animal enters in and sheds weed seeds and you don't realize it. So, when the seedlings come up, you are not exactly sure what is a pepper and what is not. Sometimes you only gradually come to awareness on what is a good plant and a good fruit and what is not. You look at pictures or have an experienced friend to teach you about the garden. And that year, you miss the mark on a good garden, you get some fruit but not optimal. But, you get experience for the next growing season, if you pay attention and learn from your mistakes. Keep trying, and being patient and prune and weed as you realize you need to. :-)
00:57:36 Bridget McGinley: I think that news came out from the Pope and YES much needed !
00:58:16 Anthony: Friendship can be like alcohol. Very valuable, but at the right times and in the right quantities. We can misuse friendship to drown out our real needs.
01:03:10 Fr. Miron Kerul-Kmec Jr.: Met. Anthony Bloom - churchianity vs Christianity
01:03:15 Kevin Clay: Churchianity vs. Christianity by Met. Anthony Bloom
01:05:26 Rachel: This reading reminds me of St. Christina the Astonishing. Apparently the stench of the people in the church woke her from a coma so serious she was put into a coffin and the community was attending her funeral. And I think od St. Catherine of Sienna being able to smell the stench of sin in some...this always makes me wonder if I stinketh to others and if so, what can I do to have my prayers rise as incense.. :/
01:08:06 Carol: white washed tombs
01:12:42 carolnypaver: How do we NOT become “corpses” when we totally withdraw from the people in our lives? Don’t we become “dead” to them? Is that good for their souls?
01:18:03 Daniel Allen: Is it fair to take this one step further and say that the monk or Christian who follows this advice or path, then becomes salt to others who have no salt and become a means of salvation for those around us? A broader and larger connectedness, where the strengthening of one part aids the weaker parts of the body. A call to be salt to the world, and that one isn’t simply seeking a personal salvation but that one would seek to acquire this salt from God for the sake of others as well?
01:18:23 Rachel: Once, on the way to Mass, I ran into a homeless person who was thirsty. The young man was in a wheel chair, and when I tried to approach him, he begged me not to approach him. There was a very strong and unpleasant odor coming from him. I approached anyway and he told me, please, not to touch him or come closer as his legs were being eaten away by maggots. He lifted his gown and it is true, he was being eaten alive. I asked him why, if he wanted to go to the hospital and he declined. Said he had just been kicked out of the hospital. So I asked him if he wants a priest. I will get a priest. He said yes, to pray and he allowed me to give him my scapular as I thought he was close to death by the smell. He wold not allow me to put the scapular on but promised he would. I went to Mass which had already begun. I stopped the first priest I know, and told him what had happened. Asked him to please go see him immediately. He pulled back and told me that priest so and so deals with things like that. While
01:20:13 Rachel: While I cannot judge the priest, this, is an exactly example of letting the moment pass by when we, when I, am called to do something that our Lord asks.
01:20:29 Bridget McGinley: Love the story Rachel thanks for sharing
01:21:22 Rachel: When I went back to check on him, the young man was gone.
01:25:17 Miron Kerul Kmec: Thank you!
01:25:29 Jack: thanks father whats the hat called
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