Reading the Fathers takes us to the very heart of the gospel and in doing so they pull us out of our comfort zone. Obedience is the true path to freedom. But freedom comes at a cost and perfect freedom comes through self-sacrificing love. It is cruciform. All that we were presented with this evening made it very clear that our life is to be a deep immersion in the Paschal Mystery; that is, a profound dying and rising. We are dying to self and sin and rising to new life in Christ. This is the path to salvation and St. John tells us that to turned away from the obedience of Christ, to turn away from the mortification of reason, judgment and self-will, is to turn away from the Love that has saved us. Every time we receive the Holy Eucharist we say, “Amen”, so be it. We say, “Let this be the reality in my life. Let me be conformed to Christ in self- emptying and obedient love. To hold on to our will, to hold on to our self-centeredness makes it impossible for us both to receive and give love. May God open our eyes that we may see the truth of this and follow the way that Christ has set before us.
Text of chat during the group:
00:06:40 FrDavid Abernethy: page 82 paragraph 39
00:13:01 FrDavid Abernethy: page 82
00:16:04 Fr. Miron Jr.: no
00:31:35 renwitter: I really appreciate that he mentions the manual labor even in this small paragraph about the prison. Helpful to remember that during a time of repentance - of fasting and deep prayer - the Fathers themselves recommended some kind of small work to help the heart along, and allow the stillness to come. Making prayer ropes works great too ;-)
00:32:27 Debra: And you make beautiful prayer ropes <3
00:32:44 Ashley Kaschl: 💯💯
00:34:37 Jos: I'm quarantining and it feels like prison
00:35:53 Carol: Solzhenitsyn's prison, too
00:38:12 Debra: I need to make a mind switch/heart switch to think of the penitential seasons as a joyful time that I *get* to do...not a drudgery/obligation
Benedictine spirituality shows that work is a prayer
I don't know why my 'hand' icon keeps disappearing
00:38:18 Marco da Vinha: The episode reminds me of St. Benedict's constant warnings against murmurring in his Holy Rule. It comes up again and again, which makes you realise that murmuring is not just "blowing off steam". It ends up being a kind of cursing God's creation. Even in the work environment, murmurring eats away at the work environment (and may lead to an undermining of authority); it poisons it. I can only imagine that this would be magnified in a cenobitic environment.
00:42:05 Debra: "Venting"
00:45:40 Anthony: is scrupulosity really an interior carping at oneself and lack of trust in God? It does steal the moment from a person, and is a form of complaining and it is a spirit of fear.
00:47:31 Rachel: This is why St. Climacus gave me courage years ago.
00:47:51 Debra: That's beautiful
All the angels rejoice over a repentant sinner
00:50:17 Eric Ewanco: I've only recently, after 35 years of following the Lord, been able, by the grace of God, to conquer melancholy (I think) and "murmuring" -- and I do believe it was a great grace, but in retrospect I can appreciate the saying that it is "unreasonable and impososible" to imitate the way of the saints. Some people are at a place in their lives that God has permitted that despite great fervor, they are unable to move forward. Sometimes it's just a matter of time. Perhaps a lot of time. And sometimes it's hard to understand these principles because of where we are. Some of this I would have balked at just even a year ago, but I'm in a much better position to appreciate it now.
00:58:12 renwitter: Honestly, its just so funny - and absurd - imagining a group of people on the beach applauding someone who just nearly drowned. And yet, the moment that analogy is applied to the spiritual life I realize that that is exactly what I want 😂Ugh.
00:58:16 Carol: When shall we be convinced that our miserableness makes us "strong against God?". When shall we take cognizance of the fact that to plunge ourselves into our nothingness is the assured means to attract God.... Martinez
00:59:14 Debra: 😄
01:04:31 Kevin Clay: If we humble ourselves then God does not have to humble us through circumstances, etc.
01:12:40 Anthony: Italians are like Hebrews....we want to "send a message" when offended. The forgiving 70x7 certainly does send a message, the opposite of the heavy handed message we might carnally want to send.
01:13:22 carolnypaver: What about——when we are “maligned and disparaged” just for doing our job as a parent? How do we know when that happens “for the Lord’s sake?”
01:19:31 Anthony: From Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (paraphrase) "....on the night in which He dies or rather laid down His life for the life of the world...."or self-martyrdom is indeed like His laying down His life, for this is our taking up our cross.
01:20:05 Art: Accepting our crosses is the beginning of death to self. It is the Via Doloroso that leads to our complete destruction.
01:20:21 Ashley Kaschl: Sorry 😂 I digressed a little in this…
01:20:35 Ashley Kaschl: I think people of today misunderstand forgiveness vs. reconciliation. We should always forgive and hope for reconciliation. But I think people want reconciliation first and hold out on their forgiveness as if they are seeking satisfaction in forgiving as the reason to offer it. I’m not sure I have this fully thought out yet, but it is interesting to me how fervently people will hold onto their anger in regards to failure in leadership, failure in friends, sights, offenses, etc. Anger is a big thing rn and I’ve been trying to understand it. I know fear of suffering is present behind this and may actually be the main motive behind these resentments and harsh opinions, but long lasting anger seems useless and a detriment to the interior life.
01:20:37 Carol: This seems to rely very heavily on deep faith and trust in God's providence, and willing all that happens as coming directly from the hand of God/as God's will as for our sanctification. it requires a great setting aside of our own judgement, yet enables one to remain at peace in all circumstances.
01:21:28 Ashley Kaschl: *slights not sights
01:22:58 Eric Ewanco: that's profound
01:23:02 renwitter: That second to last sentence is very hard: that being unable to accept even an unjust reproof is a renunciation of one's salvation. Yet, it reminds me of something else one of the Father's said (I don't remember who): that if you are unjustly reproofed for something, you should accept the reproof as deserved, because undoubtedly you have committed many sins for which you were not reproofed.
01:23:48 Rachel: St Theresa said that!
01:23:50 Ashley Kaschl: Oof yes.
01:24:02 Anthony: Ren, that concept is in Tolstoy, War and Peace.
01:30:02 Jos: is mortification something that precedes joy or can they exist together?
01:30:24 Jos: Josie
01:30:27 Jos: 👍👍
01:30:35 Jos: I typed it above
01:30:47 Jos: right before my name
01:30:53 Jos: is mortification something that precedes joy or can they exist together?
01:32:13 Jos: so it's possible to be in suffering while also in joy?
01:34:06 Liz: When someone offends us, the offences can be taken by the evil one, who uses it to suggest us to react with anger, self-pity, etc. But the offences can also be taken by the Holy Spirit before they reach us, and He will use them for making a beautiful sculpture of us, if we are docile
01:34:08 Kevin Clay: St. Francis of Assisi told the story of “Perfect Joy” - being rejected, etc. but rejoicing in it.
01:34:18 Marco da Vinha: I know a couple who were slandered by priests - both online and in person - for having requested to be married according to a certain rite. They saw non-practicing couples they knew (who disparaged the Church) marrying without any complications. They never once spoke ill of the priests who spoke so horribly of them. When asked, by friends who knew what they had undergone, why they put up with all of it, why they still went to church, their reply was quite simple - "our faith is in Christ, not men. Those priests were people like you and I, with their own failings and brokeness, and in need of Christ just like all of us."
01:35:41 CMoran: Thank you so much, Father!!
01:35:48 Marco da Vinha: Thank you Father!
01:35:51 Deiren Masterson: Thank you Father! All!
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Father David you’re doing a great service to your listeners. I’ve grown so much from listening to these teachings of the desert fathers. Thank you so much.
Tuesday Aug 23, 2022
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