Reading the fathers deeply is unsettling. It strikes against every sensibility that we have and calls into question our perception of reality itself. In this sense, their writings are meant to illuminate the gospels for us and allow them to challenge us. So often we become lukewarm simply because things have become familiar and comfortable to us. We lose sight of the fact that in the face of Christ’s teaching individuals tore their garments and repeatedly wanted to put him to his death and eventually did accomplish this.
What does reading the gospel or the fathers give rise to within our hearts and consciences? The stories about obedience in this hypothesis are startling; we can hardly imagine ourselves enduring such things for a moment, let alone seeing them as something that are a means to freeing us from self-will and from the ego. What is it that we love? What stirs our hearts to their greatest desire? What are we willing to die for? Is Christ our Beloved or merely the construction of our minds and imaginations to make us feel safe in this world?
Text of chat during the group:
00:21:29 Paul Fifer: This paragraph sounds a lot like the Russian movie named “The Island”.
00:21:58 Anthony Rago: Reminds me of "Ostrov / Island" in which the foolish monk tends the coal furnace for 30 or so years
00:22:30 Charbel: A fantastic film, I get some folks together to watch it at the beginning of the Fast every year.
00:24:03 carol nypaver: Profound film! I need to watch it again.
00:24:38 Ambrose Little, OP: Much like having small children. 🙂
00:25:52 Anthony Rago: Culturally, in Sicily, my family had livestock on the ground floor. Same with Padre Pio's family. Living quarters were upstairs. Maybe the monk lived in a downstairs "barn" and the others lived on the floor(s) above.
00:27:54 Deb Dayton: Reacted to "Much like having sma..." with 😂
00:28:00 carol nypaver: Very interesting, Anthony. Thank you for the insight.
00:39:16 Charbel: Apologies for ducking out. I'm taking an extra shift at the shelter and may have to step away from time to time as folks come into my office.
00:39:22 Joyce and Jim Walsh: Story of the Monk reminds me of the indignities suffered by St. FAUSTINA as noted in her Diary.
00:51:40 Anthony Rago: But if we are in the image of God, I see a tension. One the one hand, there is the parable of the unworthy servants doing only what is expected of you. But on the other hand, you are made in the image of God, and I would thing, there is room for some sense of ego and satisfaction. Not smugness, but joy and satisfaction.
00:53:52 iPhone: Amen Father
01:04:05 iPhone: Really Powerful Message.
01:13:14 Denise T. : This is probably really worldly of me, but if you allow someone to hurt you unjustly or lie about you or anything else that is deliberately inflicted by another without saying anything, will that be good for them. There seems a sense of justice is lost. Not saying anything.
01:20:05 Denise T. : Thank you, Father.
01:20:16 carol nypaver: Do those who inflict the “punishment” on us, also become more saintly even if their intent is NOT that we become more patient, humble, etc.? Especially if they are not our “elders”? If we become holier for what we endure at their hands, do they also grow in holiness if we endure patiently?
01:21:27 Sharon: Thank you
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