We continued this week with step number 3 on Exile. Saint John takes us deeper into the mystery of what it is to live as a Christian within the world. God calls to the heart and desires that we give our love to Him as he has given his love to us.
Ultimately this is the reason why the monks exiled themselves to the desert. It was not to free themselves from the company of others. Rather they separated themselves from all things in order to become inseparable from Christ. Similarly, in our day-to-day life, we exile ourselves from all those things which would cool our devotion for the Lord. We are careful not to turn back to the things that we are attached to knowing that in doing so we are likely to be drawn back to the things of the world.
This exile is not hatred. It is the desire to let Christ be the one who teaches us what is good for us. We are to let the virtues, the angels and the Saints, the remembrance of death, contrition, be our family and our friends. These are the things that endure and will support us and our journey toward the kingdom.
Text of chat during the group:
00:28:02 Rachel: Yep
00:30:37 carolnypaver: Page?
00:30:42 Anthony: carpathian plainchant
00:30:45 Ren: 64
00:30:57 carolnypaver: TY
00:32:19 Rachel: I think it is a way of protecting the other as well as one's own heart. It is not just about outright vulgar immodesty. It is about our minding our gaze. Because we long to gaze at the Face of God. To be able, please God, to see as God sees.
00:47:14 Anthony: In section 12, we are dealing with stymied vocations. In section 11, we were warned against being self-appointed saviors of the world. Maybe appointing yourself a savior of the world is like dwelling in the dumps on your sin. The gaze of the person is turned inward on "look at what I can do / look what I did" and that is harmful to the person and to the world. It is God Who _gives_ the vocation and the salvation. The goal of Christian life is a genuine blissful loss of the self-awareness as a branch loses itself in the vine? If he dwells on his fault, he is consumed with canker; if he boasts of himself, he is consumed with worthless woody growth, not fruit.
00:49:14 carolnypaver: “….delivered them up to their doom?” Please explain this part.
00:49:24 Ren: 12
00:51:44 Debra: Just going to the store in June, is indoctrination :/
00:58:17 Rachel: Yes!
00:58:31 Rachel: Go into your room and pray to God in secret..
01:00:31 Robyn Greco: Thank you Father
01:06:40 Anthony: This is why living in Catholic community is so helpful; our surrounding "culture" is directly contrary to each of the family members he raises here to our attention. Community reinforcement of Catholic themes is important.
01:16:21 Ren: Though Climacus takes things even farther by assigning familial relations even to the virtues, paragraph 15 reminds me of this writing of St. John Kronstadt: "When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays." No matter what one’s vocation, it seems a kind of loneliness and isolation in this world is always a part of it, for the Christian, and thus so many of the Fathers give advice seeking out the invisible, heavenly community to combat it.
01:19:36 Ashley Kaschl: I think this detachment is harder than believing that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ 😂😬
01:20:06 Ambrose Little, OP: (Sorry, took a while to write, so I got behind the current topic..)
In my Dominican circles, we often talk about evangelization. It is absolutely crucial, I think all of us can agree, but there is remarkable disagreement on the best way to go about it.
Some folks say that simply “speaking the Truth” is the decisive means to win souls. Others say simple accompaniment. Most know intuitively there is some truth in both, but I find folks keen to argue as if one way is, effectively, the only way, while the other won’t work at all—and they can get quite agitated about it. But it’s a matter of emphasis—different folks have different gifts, and more importantly, we need to be sensitive in each and every situation and listen for the Spirit’s guidance.
01:20:10 Ambrose Little, OP: Folks of “action” pay that lip service, but when pressed, they seem to think we can’t “just” do that. It can’t be “that simple”; they get antsy. Prayer just “isn’t enough.” But I return to the Old Testament—Israel often being a superb type of the individual faith journey. *Every time* Israel (and/or some leader) tried to go on their own, doing what seemed right and wise to them—even with good intentions, it failed, sometimes spectacularly.
I see what seems to be _so much_ damage done in the Church and _to our Christian witness_ by folks who just can’t not “let their light shine,” though it seems to me it’s more of that spectacular failing, because they don’t wait on the Spirit. If they did, then we’d see the fruit of the Spirit made manifest. But more often than not, we don’t.
Waiting on the Lord in prayer, being silent, living in that “exile,” increasingly seems to me to be the Way. Let action, if it is needed, come from that.
01:20:50 Rachel: That is why I put my hand down all the time! I am so behind. :)
01:21:58 Rachel: That is so true.
01:24:36 Eric Williams: Some people embracing brutal honesty are more interested in the brutality than the honesty. That's why my spider sense tingles and I get anxious when some people pontificate about boldly and loudly proclaiming the Faith to secular society. I think a lot more of us should embrace silent and hidden holiness than should attempt evangelization or apologetics.
01:24:56 Eric Williams: (Sorry. Got behind trying to type on my phone.)
01:25:37 Ambrose Little, OP: Much more concise than me, Eric! 🙂
01:25:40 Cindy Moran: Thank you, Father!
01:25:45 Ryan Schaefer: Thank you!
01:25:47 Rachel: Thank you Father!
01:25:49 kevin: thank you!!!!
01:26:02 Bonnie Lewis: Thank you Father!
01:26:26 Rachel: 6 am here
01:26:31 Cathy: Prayers
01:26:34 Rachel: 🙏🏼
01:26:39 Eric Williams: It's not often I'm called concise, Ambrose ;)
01:26:39 carolnypaver: We will, Father. God bless you in your transition.
01:26:46 Sheila Applegate: prayers!
01:27:55 Art: Thank you Father!
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