Where are we in the spiritual battle? Do we understand the virtues that are generally most necessary in the pursuit of virtue? So often in our day, we approach the spiritual life in a piecemeal fashion, gleaning from the writing of saints things that speak to our own particular sensibilities. But are any of these things going to help us address the dominant passions that we struggle with?
We cannot be lazy in the labors of the spiritual life. We are blessed to be able to sit at the feet of the great elders and those who speak from experience. And yet, as with so many things in our day, we would have things come in our own time and in the way that we desire. Christianity overturns our perception of reality. What it means to love, what is truth, all comes into view only through the person of Christ. The shape of the Christian life is cruciform – always involving a dying to self and sin, and rising to new life in Christ. We must cast off the old man in order to put on the mind of Christ. Lacking discernment we may find ourselves being guided by the demons and settling into mediocrity or the embrace of selfishness and sin that merely is an aping of virtue.
Text of chat during the group:
00:14:14 David Swiderski: Father do you know any good books on vigils?
00:15:56 Sharon Fisher: Would it be instructions for a home vigil service?
00:17:50 Anthony: For the bibliography, cookbooks are important such as
"From a Monastery Kitchen" by Bro. Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette.
00:19:52 Eric Ewanco: With Great Lent on our heels, do you have suggestions for overcoming gluttony and sustaining our fasts?
00:29:26 Andrew Adams: How does one practice the life of obedience as a layperson?
00:30:23 Suzanne: Isaac the Syrian is great on not putting the cart of contemplation before the horse of purification.
00:32:54 Maureen Cunningham: The Monks on Mt Athose are very healthy a Doctor did a study.
00:35:24 Suzanne: Greek food ain't no penace for me! 😄
00:35:38 Vanessa: Reacted to "Greek food ain't no ..." with 😂
00:39:16 Anthony: Our hypochondria is driven by our societal messaging; our avarice is driven by our capitalist presuppositions wealth, usury, over-emphasis on private property.
00:42:54 Maureen Cunningham: I was told that Christ suffers in the broken .
00:43:30 Anthony: And it's hard to go against presuppositions because it feels like you're doing something wrong.
00:47:02 Suzanne: I quit a part time job because of the filthy language and sick behavior of my fellow employees. I did it to protect my soul.
00:54:04 Jeff O.: I’m reminded of a quote from a Benedictine book - “Personal Prayer” - “Our hope is at its greatest when we have absolutely no other means to provide for ourselves than to beg God for help.” When our hope is rooted deeply in our full understanding of our poverty it’s at its strongest/fullest
00:54:20 David Swiderski: I have found hardship to be helpful in gaining detachment from many things and faults. A saint used to say-gold is purifiied in the crucible of life.
00:54:21 Lee Graham: What does “recklessly despised their torture”?
00:55:27 Eric Ewanco: My translation @Lee Graham has "It was this marvelous grace that enabled the souls of the martyrs to rise superior to their torments."
00:56:29 Vanessa: St. Teresa of Calcutta always said we have to see Christ himself in the poor, broken, and suffering. Re-aligns our focus to see the humanity in them.
01:07:40 sprou: is that the language of silence?
01:09:26 Eric Ewanco: Is ignoring the demons an option open to
everyone, or does this indicate that one is in a better spiritual position so to speak if one can do this?
01:11:19 Adam Paige: One of the tools of good works in the rule of Saint Benedict is “To dash at once against Christ the evil thoughts which rise in one’s heart.”
01:11:26 Rebecca Thérèse: Thank you🙂
01:11:30 Louise: Thanks, Fr. Abernethey!
01:11:42 Suzanne: God bless you all!
01:11:46 Lorraine Green: God bless, thank you
01:12:19 Barbara: Blessed Great Fast!!
01:12:22 Andrew Adams: Thank you Father!
01:12:23 Jeff O.: Thank you!
01:12:24 Sharon Fisher: And with your spirit!
01:12:36 Cindy Moran: Thank you Father
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