We picked up this evening once again with Step 4 on Obedience. John describes it for us as standing before God with a kind of simplicity and humility; truthful living before God and others. When we live in this manner we unburden ourselves and so run a good race without a heavy conscience and also protected from the cunning of the demons who make exacting investigation of our deeds.
After describing obedience and defining it, John then turns to give us beautiful examples of those who lived it in an heroic fashion. In particular, we are told of a thief who seeks admittance to a monastery. Gradually the superior test his obedience through the confession of his sins privately and publicly. The thief does this with profound humility and obedience that is shocking even to Saint John. It is then that he is received into the monastery and given the habit. He overcame the shame of his sin through the shame of bringing all things to light.
St. John goes on to describe the fruit that this bore within the community. They were so formed by the spirit of obedience through their skillful superior and physician of souls, that they began to live the angelic life. Their love and generosity towards each other was unparalleled. They would seek to protect each other’s consciences and also to take each other’s burdens upon themselves.
Text of chat during the group:
00:07:36 FrDavid Abernethy: starting tonight on page 70, paragraph 9
00:41:45 renwitter: Without this type of public, and total confession, is there any way to attain to a similar level of freedom? I feel like so many carry certain sins as secrets from all but their confessor, and maybe spouse.
00:44:14 Fr. Miron Jr.: 1st sunday of Great Lent
00:55:47 renwitter: This also perfectly compliments what we discussed in the Evergetinos on Monday - the simple, very easy way that idle conversation becomes evil conversation, and thus something that needs to be avoided even in the very beginning when it seems really harmless. There is nothing harmless about what is idle.
01:03:28 Ashley Kaschl: It’s not hard since a lot of things die in this heat 😂
01:04:17 Barb Heyrman: I am reminded of a homily on one very hot & humid Sunday. “If you think this is hot…try bell.”
01:07:59 renwitter: I am reminded of my favorite quote from an old cartoon (the context is the Dad of the family dropping his son off for Sunday school). Son: “But Dad, Sunday school is so not cool." Dad: “You know what's not cool Bobby? Hell.”
01:08:32 Ashley Kaschl: 😂😂
01:16:15 Ashley Kaschl: I was on the go earlier, so you don’t have to respond to this, Father.
But the public confession of past wrongs in the earlier paragraphs reminds me of the General Judgment.
01:16:19 Ashley Kaschl: And in contemplating that, at first, there’s a real, gripping fear that all will be made clear, nothing will be hidden. Since sin is an absence, an act contrary to reality, that wounds both us and the Body, this type of confession, which we will all endure in the end, can’t NOT be healing and ultimately freeing.
But then, in understanding the sacramental life, Who and where I’m made for, and if one has a penitential disposition, it’s less about standing in shame or fear, and more like we would stand before everyone with a deep recognition, humility, and admission for having been who we are not and did not want to be.
01:21:14 Rachel Pineda: Thank you!
01:21:16 Bonnie Lewis: Thank you Father!
01:21:36 Bonnie Lewis: A blessed birthday to you !
01:21:40 Maple(Hannah) Hong: Thankk you
01:21:43 Rachel Pineda: Happy Birthday! LOL 60
01:21:45 Sheila Applegate: Happy Birthday!
01:22:00 carolnypaver: Birthday Blessings!
01:22:02 kevin: happy Birthday
01:22:05 Maple(Hannah) Hong: Happy Birthday!
01:22:10 Rachel Pineda: The kids still think you are ancient but look young. God bless! Happy Birthday!
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