Even in the act of mourning the loss of a loved one, our thoughts can return very quickly to the things of this world. The reality of death is something that we rarely linger long with in our thoughts and imagination even when it draws close to us.
Yet, in the writings of the fathers, it is precisely the urgency that the awareness of the brevity of our life places upon us that is so important. We must not neglect the fact that our life in this world is very short.
What is it that we spend our time on? What is the focus of our energy? Do we desire God and what He alone can fill within the human heart or are we constantly seeking the things of this world?
St. John’s writing on mourning over one’s sin is a stark reminder of who we are as human beings. We have almost an infinite capacity for self-delusion and self-deception. Even the shedding of tears can be filled with self-esteem or concern with self image more than with the sorrow over the diminishment of the relationship of love with God. Do we really love virtue and hate sin? Is there an urgent longing for God that leads to zeal in the spiritual life and prayer or do we easily slide into sloth and negligence? Do we distract ourselves with intellectual discussions about the faith and yet never practice the mourning of which St. John speaks?
Text of chat during the group:
00:12:21 FrDavid Abernethy: page 122
00:18:23 Debra: Just walked in from shoveling snow!
00:18:43 FrDavid Abernethy: page 122
00:18:45 FrDavid Abernethy: 112
00:21:01 Rebecca Thérèse: jailors
00:21:23 Rebecca Thérèse: It's the British spelling
00:27:04 Anthony: There is the kind little dog mentioned in Book of Tobit! :)
00:28:05 Anthony: The theives break in to steal, but the watchdog of concentration scares them away - maybe?
00:34:25 Daniel Allen: That makes me think of the wise and foolish virgins. The foolish virgins were told to buy more oil, and they wept outside of the wedding banquet. Is John playing off of that at all, suggesting we must mourn - and so acquire more oil - before we can enter the wedding feast as the wise virgins?
00:39:38 Anthony: Father, is there a "psychological" element to help us govern these thoughts? Because, meditating on all the evil one has done - veen the littlest bit and the evil one can do can make one go almost mad.
00:49:02 carol nypaver: Amen!
00:53:47 Anthony: Like the Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane
00:54:04 Debra: That #21 could be on a bookmark for my Breviary
00:58:49 Debra: I think Ven Fulton Sheen said, in response to 'The Mass is so long', 'It's because your love is short'
01:10:54 Anthony: adulteration?
01:10:56 Anthony: alloy?
01:16:48 Anthony: And THAT's how Nephilim could be made....
01:22:46 Jeffrey Ott: Amen, thank you!
01:22:51 Anthony: Thank you :)
01:22:52 Rebecca Thérèse: Thank you 🙂
01:22:55 Rachel: Thank you
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