Tonight we continued with our study of Step 4 on Obedience. As we go deeper into St. John’s writing we begin to see the fruit of this virtue that often remains hidden to our eyes. Our obedience fosters habit; in particular the habit of virtue where one acknowledges that God is a fellow laborer. Obedience also shapes the way that we approach the confession of our sins. It allows us to see their gravity, and it fosters within us the deepest sense of compunction. The fruit of this, however, is a repentance the draws us back into the arms of God swiftly and allows us to experience His healing grace. The great virtue also makes us cherish the gift of the Holy Eucharist more fully. We begin to understand how precious this gift is and so desire to protect our minds and our hearts from the greater attacks that often come after receiving our Lord. It also allows us to see that we do not engage in this battle in isolation but rather we march with the first martyr, that is Christ. Through obedience we always have the Divine Physician with us. If we do fall we are immediately aided and healed by his presence. For this reason we must also choose well a competent spiritual physician, an elder who himself has been formed and shaped by this great virtue. For St. John tells us that obedience brings humility and out of this humility is born dispassion. The more that we walk along this path the more we begin to experience the angelic life; that is, we begin to experience the very peace and the joy of the kingdom, God draws us into the very perfection of His Love.
Text of chat during the group:
00:09:42 FrDavid Abernethy: page 86, para 63
00:14:35 CMoran: I work at WQED so maybe I can run across 5th Ave. for liturgy.
00:14:49 CMoran: Cindy
00:15:46 Anthony: A lot of restraunters and homeschooling families?
00:18:07 Bonnie Lewis: Excellent!
00:20:11 Rachel: Thatsna 10 percent down payment in Cali
00:20:26 Rachel: lol
00:35:38 Marco da Vinha: Though I am a Latin, looking at Forgiveness Sunday just before Lent - the "Tithe of the Year" - brings to mind Mt 5:23-24: "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."
00:37:51 Eric Ewanco: It's easier to be humble when we are wrong, especially with those who are humble. It is much harder to be humble when we are right, dealing with those who are prideful and arrogant!
00:46:54 Kevin Clay: What does John mean by the last part: “For it is better to war with pollutions (thoughts) than with conceit.”
00:47:10 Bridget McGinley: What might those additional "spiritual sacrifices" look like after confession?
00:48:25 Rachel: Pride versus thoughts of various kinds that show the wounds of our disloyalty. ride may be more difficult and subtle?
00:49:05 Br Theophan the non-recluse: @kevin if one presumes that they have truly won the spiritual battle, then they fall prey to the sin of conceit, which is worst being engaged in a spiritual battle, as one is then too spiritually blind to see their sinful state
00:49:09 Rachel: Pride* o dear sorry for the typos
00:50:08 Rachel: ty Brother Theophan
00:52:45 Carol: Theophan said something similar about the time immediately after Communion, to seek solitude and privacy in one’s room to deepen the intimacy of prayer
00:53:48 Eric Ewanco: I believe, Lord, and profess that You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, come to this world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest. I believe also that this is really your spotless body and that this is really your precious blood. Wherefore I pray to You: have mercy on me and pardon my offenses, the deliberate and the indeliberate, those committed in word and in deed whether knowingly or inadvertently; and count me worthy to share without condemnation your spotless mysteries, for the remission of sins and for eternal life.
Receive me now, O Son of God, as a participant in your mystical supper: for I will not betray your mystery to your enemies, nor give You a kiss like Judas, but like the thief, I confess You: remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.
00:54:06 Marco da Vinha: Father, a bit of a digression, but do you have any idea of when penances to combat the passions stopped being the norm in the West? My own experience in the confessional has always been "pray X/Y/Z" and never any concrete actions to combat the vices I struggle with. And yet I read recently a saintly 16th century Dominican archbishop advising his priests to give penances according the the sins confessed: fasting for sins of gluttony/lust; almsgiving for avarice; prayer for sloth/acedia...
00:55:00 Eric Ewanco: "May the reception of your holy mysteries, Lord, be for me not to judgment or condemnation, but to the healing of (my) soul and body. Amen."
01:00:05 Henry Peresie: St. John Vianney was one of those priests who spent many hours in the confessional.
01:04:49 Eric Ewanco: I thought "hesychasm" arose a few centuries after John?
01:08:28 Anthony: As David said, something like even his bones groaned.
01:18:08 Rachel: This reminds me of the rich young man who encountered Our Lord Himself and went away sad, not willing to give up his attachments. How he followed all of the commandments in obedience..
01:18:38 Rachel: yet, God is found in His commandments. Or, hidden in His commandments.
01:19:09 Anthony: it makes sense since angels are under obedience and they are in God's happy presence.
01:20:04 Anthony: and here i thought they always were talking about not marrying. wow.
01:23:11 Rachel: The older copy's introduction is wonderful!
01:24:02 Marco da Vinha: God bless, Father!
01:24:08 CMoran: Thank you Father!!!
01:24:18 Rachel: Thank you Father and everyone
01:24:20 Bonnie Lewis: thank you again Father! Always wonderful.
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