Sometimes we are unaware of the treasure that we possess in and through the gift of faith; and also in the living witness and writing of the Saints. As St. John speaks of discernment this treasure is magnified for us and we begin to see how precious their teachings are and the life that God has called us to embrace. Our ability to see the preciousness of these gifts allows us to enter into the life with heartfelt perception. We cannot live with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom. Our minds and our hearts must belong to God and we must seek Him above all things.
In great detail, St. John begins to speak to us about the gift of discernment. It is especially important and valuable for those who have the care of souls. To be a skilled physician one must have the experience necessary to apply the appropriate medicine and that which will be healing. It is also for this reason that monastic life has been so important for the life of the church. “Angels are a light for monks, and the monastic life is a light for all men.” They show us how important it is to learn divine truth by toil and sweat. We must give our hearts over to the ascetic life and not squander the treasure.
How quickly one begins to see that we would be wandering blindly without the guidance of the spiritual fathers. Let show our gratitude by our imitation of their zeal.
Text of chat during the group:
00:14:31 FrDavid Abernethy: page 194 number 23
00:33:20 David Swiderski: The devil speaks with a scratching, loud and gnarling voice and calls you by your sin. God calls you by name and his voice like a whisper on the wind. Only with peace and quite can we hear the whisper. - Not who wrote this but heard this from a priest in Spain on a retreat in the Pyrennes.
00:43:43 Sharon Fisher: Fr, please repeat the title of the second book you ref’d? I have the Eastern Monasticism and Future of the Church, but couldn’t write fast enough to get the next one. Thank you!
00:44:30 Anthony: That prejudice for the active life goes back to the "reformation" - I think as a way to justify the reformation. It saw a revival in "josephism" of the 1700s and 1800s
01:05:38 David Swiderski: Where would resentment be placed I have seen despondency and also pride in being a victim.
01:06:58 Sharon Fisher: Just fyi to participants: The level of detail we get w/ Fr. David in discussions about the Fathers’ writings is not found in very many places. I’ll put a plug in for a guided book study on You Tube: St Silouan the Athonite Guided Book Study with Isaac Lampart, written by Archimandrite Sophrony. The videos are hosted by Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Lancaster, PA. It’s very good; but it’s hard to find the actual book. It took me a few months of monitoring used book sites to get a copy.
01:07:01 mhinckley: that;s virtue signaling, no. Just the other side of the vaingflory coin, no?
01:08:04 mhinckley: despondency and also pride in being a victim.
01:10:16 Sean: Replying to "Just fyi to particip..."
I really long for this sort of content now but it's non existent AFIK😢
01:12:40 Maureen Cunningham: Thank You many Blessing