In Hypothesis VIII, we found ourselves considering something that is rather jarring to our sensibilities. We began listening to Saint Gregory the Great on the experience of those who die and come to life again and how this can happen by Divine Providence. We are presented with stories of those who are brought to deep repentance when they began to see that fearful state of Hell. We are also shown that such experiences may take place by God‘s providence perhaps not for the conversion of the one who is dying but for those who witness the the terror of the death of one outside of the grace of God and lacking a repentant heart. There is a fierce love at work bringing about our redemption and that fierceness shows itself by stripping us of any illusions about our lives; illusions either about our own mortality or the immortality of the soul. We see our great dignity and destiny in Christ. We are offered life eternal and an experience of union with the Triune God. However, this immortality of the soul outside of the context of our relationship with Christ presents us with a fearful reality; life without God and eternal death. God and his providence will scourge us in order to correct us and draw us back to the path that leads to life. He will allow us to taste the consequence and the bitterness of our own sin in order that we might turn away from it and hate it. This may not be easy to listen to and our inclination may be to turn away from it or to sanitize it. But if we strip the gospel of its teachings on the last things, if we remove the challenging thoughts of Christ in regards to the unbridgeable chasm that exist between heaven and hell, we lose sight of both our dignity and the weight and significance of our choices in this world. If the stories lead us to repentance they will ultimately lead us to joy; for they will lead us back to the bosom of God. Therefore we must not fear them and we must not avoid them - but allow them to shine their fearsome light upon us.
Text of chat during the group:
00:16:07 Eric Williams: Father forgot to mute everyone, so everyone check your mics! :)
00:16:23 Edward Kleinguetl: Thanks!
00:21:36 Tyler Woloshyn: He was also the author of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in the Byzantine church.
00:33:46 Ambrose: The staff is for beating off the wolves. :)
00:39:19 Eric Williams: Like what I was saying about young married priests in the East not having older priest families to learn from.
00:48:32 Edward Kleinguetl: Heb. 12:6.
00:49:58 Edward Kleinguetl: "For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
00:51:59 Eric Williams: “My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” - Proverbs 3:11-12
00:52:02 renwitter: We do not always want to draw that connection between suffering and sin though, right? Christ himself addressed that, and I think of job’s friends trying to convince him that all he is suffering is a result of sin, which it wasn’t. Isn’t suffering also something given to us as a means of drawing us closer to Christ in His passion?
00:52:22 Erick Chastain: oh yeah for sure, not always
00:53:55 Eric Williams: ““How happy is the one whom God reproves; therefore do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.[d] For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal.” - Job 5:17-18
00:54:31 Edward Kleinguetl: Abba Dorotheos of Gaza: “In God’s providence everything is absolutely right and whatever happens is for the assistance of the soul. For whatever God does with us, he does out of love and consideration for us because it is adapted to our needs.”
01:17:01 Edward Kleinguetl: I met him, April 2, 2019, on Mt. Kolzam.
01:29:30 Nicole: Thank you!!!
01:29:59 D Fraley: Thank you Father David
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