Reading the Fathers often pierces the heart and changes our perspective upon life and our perception of reality itself. We continued with our reading of the fathers’ exhortation not to engage those who can bring harm to us in the spiritual life. This is often troublesome to modern sensibilities. The call to evangelize draws us out to engage the world. But what are we to give if we simply allow ourselves to be drawn back into the slavery of sin? We have to radically abandon our lives to Christ, conform our minds and hearts to His, and seek to live in obedience to His Will before we can bear witness to others. It is often said you cannot give what you do not have and the Fathers understood this in the fullest measure. We are capable of living a life of religion on the surface; of becoming comfortable with mediocrity and a religion of our own creation. Sometimes we do reduce our faith to a psychological construct and in this sense the modern critique of religion is on point. We have to be ever discerning of the deep attachment that we have to sin, to the things that lead to sin. We must not live under the illusion that we are impervious to the power of the passions or temptation. We must be discerning, discriminating, in regards to everything that we experience within this world to determine whether or not it is from God. St Paul once said “we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.”This could be said of every relationship, every circumstance, we experience within this world. All things must be brought into the full light of the Truth.
Text of chat during the group:
00:05:15 FrDavid Abernethy: page 195 letter K
00:30:07 Bridget McGinley: St Cyril of Alexandria wrote "Every creature loves his kind therefore those with vices like those with similar vices". I feel like this means we must know our vices well so that we know who we will be attracted to and could be stumbling blocks. "Holy peace is not found here" he added. Yes, Facebook is very dangerous and social media is very dangerous. I need to take this advice seriously.
00:34:21 Anthony: I just realized, the evil eye - mal'occhio - is about envy. It's a serious thing, for both Christians and pagans.
00:35:27 Carol: Envy is a spirit of hades. It battles unceasingly against righteousness and God...envy never stops, the spirit of hades envies all men for all things... elder Thaddeus.
00:41:32 Bridget McGinley: Crushing pressure to be inside the "wokeness"
00:42:07 Eric Williams: In 1931, Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen wrote the following essay:
“America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance-it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory.
Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”
00:43:48 Carol Nypaver: Amen! Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, pray for us!
00:54:05 Carol: it seems like this is a common message in the church as you said, and even the confessional
01:01:05 Anthony: Trauma reminds me of the story about the alcoholic monk who became alcoholic after seeing his village massacred when he was a child.
01:01:58 Paul Grazal: +1 On The Eight Vices manuscript Father. Thank You.
01:20:13 sue and mark: it is good to wrestle with it
01:21:08 Emma C: When we are told to turn away from people who are stumbling blocks for us in the spiritual life, how do we evangelize others if we turn away from everyone who isn't helping us grow spiritually?
01:24:14 Rachel: Thank you!
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