The gentleness of God, the subtle workings of the Holy Spirit, the influence of the angels in our lives and the importance of gratitude - all of these things come forward in hypothesis 27 to strengthen us in the spiritual battle and to illuminate the path ahead. Life so often weighs us down. We feel the burden of ourselves most keenly and we can become jaded in the way that we view life, the world and God. Despite God making Himself a slave, a servant in order to lift us up out of our sin, despite his giving Himself to us, filling us with his life in love in the Eucharist and by the gift of the Spirit - we can become weary of life and weaken in terms of our capacity to hold on and hope.
In our own lives we must strive to understand that God is always working and active through His spirit of love. Despite the darkness that we struggle with and sometimes our lack of faith God never abandons us for a moment. From our perspective we must also understand that He never abandons others even when we see them falling into great darkness. God can choose individuals as vessels of election and through them He can do wonderful things. Our own incapacity to see clearly often makes us project onto God that same inability.
Finally, we have a responsibility to each other. We must allow ourselves to enter into the sufferings of others, to see the darkness that they struggle with and be willing to take them by the hand and to remain with them even when they find the presence of others agitating and unwanted. For this is the love of Christ.
Text of chat during the group:
00:10:36 David Fraley: Hello Father. I’m sorry I haven’t been around. I got a new job and I work most evenings. I’ve been following through the podcast.
00:11:18 FrDavid Abernethy: no worries. always glad to have you join us
00:19:28 Cindy Moran: Awww...you won't have any mice!
00:20:42 Debra: A kitty would be easier to have than a Great Pyrenees lol
00:23:26 Anthony: This account of Makarios sounds like the Russian Orthodox film "Ostrov" (Island).
00:24:48 carolnypaver: I thought of that also, Anthony. Except that he didn’t actually kill his captain in The Island.
00:27:42 Eric Ewanco: "Oh happy fault"
00:41:33 Rachel: Like becoming drunk with consolations. Being suddenly overcome by Love.
00:46:23 Anthony: This love borne of gratitude seems to me a lot better motivation to serve God than another alternative I heard, that the better you serve God, the higher the place in Heaven you get.
00:48:31 Lee Graham: The riches and pleasures of this world distract us from working in the fields of God. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few.
00:51:41 Lee Graham: He chooses to be magnanimous to everyone!
00:52:34 Lee Graham: He loves none of us more or less than the others.
00:57:46 Anthony: St. John of Damascus says something like penance is turning from what is unnatural to what if [created to be] natural. We focus a lot on numbers, quantity, rules of life - which are good, but I prefer the "Franciscan" happiness and freedom as a model of repentance. "The glory of God is man fully alive" says Irenaeus, I think.
00:58:46 Ambrose Little, OP: Fear is very temporary and fleeting and limited. Gratitude and love are much more steady and reliable and have no upper bound.
00:59:05 Debra: ❤️
01:06:31 Anthony: This is a bit like "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky.