There are times that it becomes perfectly clear that one is being fed on solid food. Tonight was such a moment. We picked up with Hypothesis Three on “how we should repent”. We heard from St. Isaac the Syrian with whom we are familiar. St. Isaac begins by teaching us that for every illness, whether of the soul or body the appropriate medicine must be applied. Only then will one be cured. We must apply the appropriate remedy to the passion that afflicts us the most.
St. Isaac gives us two examples this evening of men pierced to the heart with contrition. Both impose upon themselves penances that seem disturbingly severe to modern sensibilities. But it is precisely here that we must suspend judgment and allow ourselves to consider the deeper action at work in the hearts of these men. We must ask the question: Could they ever know the joy of the hand of mercy reaching out to them and lifting them up out of their sin and offering them forgiveness if they first did not experience the depth of sorrow for their sin against love? Having been so cut off from the spiritual tradition and developing such a truncated view of the human person that is often either overly intellectual or psychological, we tend not grasp the wound of sin and the effect that it has upon our relationship with God. We do not see what we have become in Christ; that we are God-bearers and that we have been imbued with His own Spirit that searches the depths of our souls. We have become so isolated from one another that we no longer see the radical solidarity that exists between ourselves and each other in our sin. How can we know anything about either the depth of compunction that arises from a heart that mourns the loss of love and will do anything to regain it or of the beauty and tenderness of the mercy of God that reaches out to touch us and raise us up?
Text of chat during the group:
00:22:16 Tyler Woloshyn: This reminds me in many way of the many saints of the east who bore the title, "Fools for Christ" who took on those self-imposed penance to maximize their humility as a witness to those who are indifferent otherwise to the gospel.
00:23:12 carolnypaver: Why does he say “the rule” put him in chains?
00:24:42 Joseph Muir: What page are we on?😀
00:24:58 carolnypaver: 31
00:25:02 Tyler Woloshyn: 30
00:25:04 Tyler Woloshyn: 31
00:25:05 Joseph Muir: Much thanks!
00:30:10 Tyler Woloshyn: When I think of red hot piercing contrition it reminds me of The Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete during Great Lent. Prayerful and very catechetical.
00:53:43 renwitter: Most. Beautiful. Story. Yet. *heart*
01:03:08 Lilly Crystal: Amen!
01:14:34 Lilly Crystal: Yes! It’s so sad here in Toronto!