It’s hard to imagine the depths of the beauty of the fathers’ insights into the nature of spiritual warfare. Having read the writings of the fathers throughout the years, it’s not an easy thing to say that that Hypotheses 28 and 29 are the finest description I’ve ever read not only on the nature of asceticism but of spiritual warfare. The compiler of The Evergetinos draws together the wisdom of the fathers in such a way that it paints an image of such detail that it creates a visceral experience and compels one to do some soul-searching. Are we engaged in the spiritual battle and aware of its nature? Do we understand the nature of the enemy that we war against and his tactics? Do we understand that there is no neutral territory in this world in regards to the spiritual life? The enemy is a tyrant and those who give themselves over to him freely will find them selves under his control. “From among men who have been taken captive by barbarians and are under the thumb of a tyrant, all those who rejoice at the successes of the enemy by whom they have been captured gladly remain close to the foe, without fetters and confinement, and struggle for the victory of the enemy, and, in fact, are used as spies, to the detriment of their compatriots.” All those who wish to be free from bitter slavery to the enemy must undertake open warfare against him. It is necessary for strugglers to call on the aid of God unceasingly. He is not only our ally but our only hope in the battle. It is by His Grace and strength that we can conquer the persistent and merciless enemy.
Text of chat during the group:
00:18:53 FrDavid Abernethy: page 243
00:23:21 Bridget: Acedia. I am infected with it these days!
00:28:22 Anthony: Why can't we just decide not to let it bother us? why does it cling?
00:30:03 Carol Nypaver: Page?
00:30:28 Carol Nypaver: ty
00:58:48 Anthony: A note on culture for Part G, paragraph 4. Rusks (in Italian cooking) are twice-baked circular loaves of bread. They can be stored for several months. To eat, first moisten under water, then top with a spread or cold cuts. I love them with an eggplant and olive mixture spread (like eggplant caponata) on top.
01:00:08 Eric Ewanco: I need those
01:20:15 Anthony: I think the concept of spiritual warfare highlights the difference between monergism (that all of salvation is God's work and we contribute nothing) and synergy (that we are required to work with God's work in our salvation). At least, that is my experience having been in a monergist tradition and talking with friends still in that tradition; and that monergism formed our American culture. It's like the way of thinking about God neutralizes the believer in that tradition against the thought of considering spiritual warfare. It is in a way very hard to be Catholic.
01:27:09 Rachel Pineda: But Climacus and Saint Issac etc are saying the same thing!
01:28:04 Rachel Pineda: Thank you
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