Tonight we picked up with Hypothesis IV.Its focus is that those afflicted by the passions should be guided slowly in the works of repentance. To help us understand this we are given a wonderful story of a young man who is sent into the fields to clear them. However upon seeing them filled with thorns and weeds he very quickly becomes depressed at the thought of the work that was ahead of him. He lays down in the grass and goes to sleep. His father on approaching him ask him why he has been so negligent. The young man states that he was overwhelmed.Wisely and with compassion the father simply tells him to sleep in a different place every night so as to flatten out the grass and the weeds simply where he chooses to lay down. This is the son did and over time he was able to clear the entire field. This is a wonderful parable because it shows us how difficult the spiritual life can be at the beginning. The bar is set very low by the father so as not to discourage. We must invest ourselves and create a rule to follow. That is a given. However, we must have patience and an awareness of our poverty. We must work within our limits until God adds grace to grace and we are able to complete the task. The spiritual life is not simply about our will but rather our embrace of the grace of God in the moment.
In Hypothesis Five, the fathers begin to describe the importance of keeping the thought of death and future judgment in mind in order that one might struggle constantly against the passions. Remembering death daily will begin to free us from unduly attaching ourselves to worldly things or losing ourselves in the work of our own hands. The remembrance of death dispels the illusion of pleasures and lifts up the soul when it is inclined to sin.All the stories in this section seek to remind us not to be prideful about our spiritual pursuits or to see them as arising from our own efforts. They also remind us not to put off our conversion from day to day for we are not guaranteed a long life. We know neither the day nor the hour when God will call us to himself and when we will stand in the fullness of his light. This is the very nature of God. To come into His presence is to be penetrated by the light of truth. Nothing shall be hidden and so nothing in this life should be taken for granted or taken lightly.
Text of chat during the group:
00:15:11 Lilly Crystal: Welcome Kyle and Andrew! Happy you guys could make it :)
00:15:35 Kyle Davidson: thanks for the invite, Lily
00:35:26 Tyler Woloshyn: Spiritual directors mention that God's work is clearest in the hidden. The liminal space, or that threshold a person crosses is where God is working the most in the soul of the Christian. Not focusing on the past or worrying about the future. It is like a furnace and forge at work simultaneously.
00:38:54 Lilly Crystal: @Diana welcome hermana so happy you could make it :)
00:53:01 Lilly Crystal: “4 Last Things” by Father Isaac Mary Relyea is an amazing 4-part sermon… New Yorker by the way ;)
00:57:04 Tyler Woloshyn: "As I arise from sleep, I thank You O Most Holy Trinity, for Your great goodness and patience with me, an idler and a sinner. You have not become indignant towards me, nor have You allowed me to die in my sins. Instead, You have shown me the love that You have for all mankind. You raised me from sleep, that I may greet this new day in prayer and glorify Your sovereign power. And now enlighten my eyes of understanding, open my understanding, open my ears to receive Your words, and teach me Your commandments. Help me to do Your will, to sing to You, to profess You from all my heart, and to praise Your all-holy name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen." (Morning prayer of St. Basil the Great)
01:00:58 Joseph Muir: Prayer of Saint John of Damascus, to be prayed before going to sleep:
O Lord, Lover of Mankind, is this bed to be the coffin, or will You enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me, and here death confronts me. I fear, O Lord, Your Judgment and the endless torments; yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord and God, I continually anger You, and Your Immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers, and my Holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord that I am unworthy of Your love, but deserve condemnation and every torment. But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord. For to save a good man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Your mercy. But show the wonder of Your mercy to me, a sinner. In this, reveal Your love for Man, lest my wickedness prevail over your unutterable goodness and mercy. And order my life as you will. Amen.
01:01:45 Tyler Woloshyn: In ancient Rome, whenever a Roman General or Emperor returned from a victory in battle. During the Triumphant parade, there would be a man hired to whisper into his ear, "Thou art mortal."
01:11:19 Tyler Woloshyn: Thank you for the wonderful lesson tonight Father. I am off to a Moleben to the Mother of God. Have a blessed evening everyone.
01:11:36 Kyle Davidson: thanks for the talk. I have to join a new call.
01:11:52 renwitter: We should have shirts made that say YODO - You Only Die Once. Get Ready.
01:12:17 carolnypaver: Oh yeah!
01:12:17 Joseph Muir: I’d buy one, Ren!
01:12:18 Lilly Crystal: @Ren omg lol
01:12:52 renwitter: I’ll design it. With a nice little skull. Maybe a prayer rope.
01:13:06 Eric Williams: Life is Short: Pray Hard
01:13:07 Lilly Crystal: Yesss girl
01:14:18 Joseph Muir: You could collaborate with https://instagram.com/pursuedbytruth?utm_medium=copy_link
01:16:13 Lilly Crystal: @Joseph coolest nun ever
01:17:18 Eric Williams: The second law of thermodynamics tells that nothing left alone stays the same. Anything we don't put energy into will degrade into chaos.
01:17:44 renwitter: Ooo. I love that. Lessons in the spiritual life straight from the natural world **heart**
01:20:06 carolnypaver: Are there any books left to purchase?
01:20:12 renwitter: No, not at the Oratory
01:20:18 renwitter: But direct from the Publisher
01:20:55 sue and mark: retreat!!!!!
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