Philokalia Ministries
Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-Three, Part II

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-Three, Part II

January 13, 2022

Tonight we concluded letter 73 to Anastasia. Once again St. Theophan is seeking to help prepare her for the path that God has called her to take. Even though she is still living at home she is not to remove her hand, as it were, from the plow or look back. She must keep her focus intently upon Christ and not lose that gaze even for a moment. Walk circumspectly, he tells her. Guard your heart in all the ways that you have been shown -  for God is a jealous God and would have your heart completely. In the rarest of ways she is to be the spouse of Christ, giving herself to him in mind and body and with an undivided heart. She must even admonish herself at times - knowing that she cannot rely upon her zeal or constancy.  A life that is lived in half measures is destined for great sadness. This is true and whatever station in life or vocation we find ourselves. The consecrated virgin becomes for us the eschatological sign par excellence; we are destined to share in the fullness of the life of the holy Trinity and to be wrapped in an eternal love that would have us completely.

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:32:38 Mark Cummings: The Carmelites describe our union with Christ as a mystical union that is vastly superior to whatever bonds of union may be found in a physical or moral body...a real union, so real that it surpasses all the others "as the grace surpasses nature, and immortal realities surpass perishable realities"
 
00:36:16 Anthony: A family ideally is a little "monastery," in my opinion, exercising humility, and caring for each other to bring each other to Heaven....and when children grow up and marry, they establish "daughter monasteries" of their initial family.
 
00:37:13 Mitchell Hunt: Important topic, I think the even the  married can be internally chaste (withdrawn from lust and the sexual spasm).  Similarly a "celebate" can be not chaste behind  closed doors
 
00:46:17 Mark Cummings: As many know, Saint JPII has some great writing on sexuality and love. https://www.jp2.info/JP2_on_Love-Responsibility.pdf
 
00:49:14 Anthony: 1 Cor 7:14....the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife.
 
00:49:37 Anthony: If wifehood is not holiness, she cannot make him holy.
 
00:52:49 Anthony: 1 Cor 7:7 "but everyone has his proper gift from God"
 
00:56:23 renwitter: I’ve always loved the term grindstone for the people in our lives who help make us holy. Sandpaper is a good one too though :-D
 
01:00:26 Anthony: Grindstone - I make my own tools for chasing and repousse.  Grindstones and sandpaper are _indispensable_ to getting a polished tool face.  If your tools are good, you can make a thing of beauty.
 
01:02:09 Mark Cummings: We must embrace our crosses.
 
01:15:28 Miron Kerul Kmec: Thank you
 
01:15:47 Anthony: OK PAdre

 

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part III

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part III

January 11, 2022

Picking up once again with Hypothesis 15, we find ourselves considering the nature of detachment from the things of the world; a detachment that is rooted first and foremost in our response to the love that God has shown and given us and his only begotten son. What does our embrace of this divine love means for our lives in this world?  To take hold of this godly love what is there of the self and our attachment to the things of this world that we must be let go? 

So often there are subtle ways that we will cling to natural sensibilities and loves and we view our lives through that lens alone. Yet the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery is meant to radically reshape our view of what it is to be a human being both in relationship to God and to one another. Our dignity and destiny is caught up in what has been given to us through our baptism - a share in the divine life. It is the faith and hope that this reality evokes that must guide our lives and the decisions that we make. 

Inevitably the stories that we read from the fathers of the desert jar our sensibilities, especially when they are very much tied to a worldly perspective. In many ways we must allow ourselves to experience the discomfort of having our perspective on life challenged so radically. God has turned our world upside down in revealing Himself to us. It is that revelation that must shape all we do and our understanding of life. 

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:03:52 Randi Altman: 🙏
 
00:11:33 Vicki Nichols: the video is really good. Jerzy Popieluzsko is a very inspiring person
 
00:38:38 Anthony: I've studied Socialism (philosophically and politically) for years.  Socialism is the tyranny that comes from bringing men's vision of "god" and men onto the earth - and you will like it, so to speak.
 
00:44:06 Anthony: Like St. Paul: 'I begged God three times to take away this thorn of the flesh, but 'My grace is sufficient for thee.''
 
00:51:03 Ambrose Little: Christ got told “no” by God, when he asked that “this cup might pass from me.” He needed to live in solidarity with we humans.
 
00:53:24 Randi Altman: It’s not responsiblity. It is an incredibly beautiful grace!!!
 
00:58:33 Ambrose Little: You were reading the Bible, largely. ;)
 
01:07:34 Randi Altman: He wanted or expected more of his son
 
01:18:45 Randi Altman: Be thankful to have hairs!🤣
 
01:19:14 Daniel Allen: Perfect closing insight.
 
01:19:55 Michael Winn: Thank you, Father! (my first time here - Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest in Winnipeg)
 
01:19:57 Randi Altman: Thank you for having me
 
01:20:19 maureencunningham: When. Saint John
 
01:20:23 Mitchell Hunt: thanks Father David
 
01:20:33 D Fraley: Good night!

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-Two, Part II and Letter Seventy-Three, Part I

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-Two, Part II and Letter Seventy-Three, Part I

January 6, 2022

This evening we picked up with the letter 72 where is Saint Theophan begins to engage Anastasia about the decision that she has made to become a religious. More than ever it is necessary to become closer to God, he tells her. She must fix her mind on the remembrance of God in every circumstance. Likewise she is to hold onto the remembrance of death in order that she might lose fear of everything within this world and also to order everything to its ultimate end and the final judgment. In other words, she must work harder than ever to clarify her vision and her desire. She must set about her life a little more decisively and await the fulfillment of her calling with patience. 

In Letter 73, Theophan begins to focus with Anastasia upon what is at the heart of this vocation: chastity or consecrated virginity to be more specific in her case. God has called her to Himself with a kind of jealous love, desiring that she give herself over to him in mind and body. Although never having set out to lead her upon such a path,  Theophan is overjoyed for her and gives thanks to God for the calling. The decision has been made but she is so far from the actual deed. Therefore, she must not fall into naïveté but rather realize that the enemy will seek to beguile her through his subtlety. She must remain sober and awake, vigilant and prayerful. The enemy can attack at any moment. She has been especially blessed by God to walk along this path that has existed from apostolic times; and so she must seek to treat it as the most precious of gifts.

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:29:47 Carol Nypaver: For how long was she under the spiritual direction of St. Theophan?
 
00:32:13 Lyle: And it is never, never, NEVER too late to desire that CHANGE.
 
00:35:01 Lyle: In spite of those "barriers", God's Spirit has led and WILL lead "seekers" to Him.
 
00:38:22 Mitchell Hunt: Every Apprentice needs a Master/Masters to learn from
 
00:48:04 Mark Cummings: I believe it will be a worthwhile exercise to review the Letters again and write down the things that will help me to map out the way to a deeper relationship with Jesus. Off the top of my head, simplifying, asceticism, memorizing key scripture/psalms, mortification, prayer (prayer rule, the Jesus prayer,etc), guarding against sin and avoiding the near occasion of sin by avoiding spending time with those that may contribute to my corruption., recognizing and embracing the Grace of God, the list seems to go on and on. If someone has already gone through the exercise of creating this map of the Letters then please let me know if you will share it.
 
01:17:39 Anthony: In Dante's Paradiso, the soul is drawn upward to God by the gravity of love.
 
01:19:34 Ashley Kaschl: A book that gives greater clarity on the charism of celibacy and speaks more on virginity is “And You are Christ’s” by Thomas Dubay, if anyone wanted to dive a little deeper into that topic.
 
01:22:35 Mark Cummings: Saint JP IIs Five loves,  according to Jason Evert's book Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves, includes Human Love and does a great job of providing a synopsis of Theology of the Body and puts it in to the context of loving God by loving others.
 
01:27:49 Mark Cummings: Thank you, Father!
 
01:28:04 Eric Williams: Have a blessed Theophany tomorrow!
 
01:28:09 Rachel: Thank you Father, and thank you everyone. Great questuons!
 
01:28:24 Ann Grimak: Thank you 🙏
 
01:28:25 Rachel: Blessed Theophany!
 
01:28:40 Erick Chastain: blessed theophany and a happy epiphany to all of you

 

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part II

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part II

January 4, 2022

Tonight we picked up with Hypothesis 15. The focus has been on detachment from the things of this world and the state of exile in which the monks lived. The temptation after leaving all for God is always to be drawn back to the things of the world. These things that draw us are not  necessarily evil or sinful but can be quite benign or even very good. Yet even that which is good can be contrary to the will of God. Our responsibility is to embrace His will and to walk the path of salvation that He has set before us and to remain ever faithful to it. Even the love and affection for other that is genuinely good can be something that we make our god. Yet there is one thing necessary - Christ and doing His will. He is the origin and fulfillment of every person’s deepest yearning. He alone can fulfill that longing for love deep within our hearts. We will rationalize or we will follow the subtle deceptions of the Evil One to take any or every path that leads away from God. Therefore we must be ever vigilant and unceasing in our prayer. Ego will always move to the forefront. We will place the self at the center of the universe and convince ourselves that what intellect, reason, or emotion tells us is truth. Thus we must be discriminating of what goes on within and foster a kind of stability that allows us to listen to God and subordinate all things to him. This is true whether one lives in the desert or in the heart of the busiest city.

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:08:44 Rachel: ….cricket....
 
00:09:43 Rachel: My paint wont dry here in Cali
 
00:11:45 Rachel: I will be arriving fashionably late to a party because there is no way I am missing the Evergetinos. 😊 lol
 
00:20:13 Anthony: This creeping back of the world into the consciousness....these fresh attacks of vanity and despicable things....is this why they are always weeping for their sins
 
00:27:05 Anthony: This is like iconography.  Icon don't depict mundane persons but persons purified by Divine Love.
 
00:46:25 Anthony: phone > Greek for sound > the siren's call to Ulysses to detract him from his mission and shipwreck the crew?
 
01:08:56 Eric Williams: Biritual! ;)
 
01:10:26 Mark J. Kelly: Sometimes, when rejected, Christ does say, “Go to another city”.  Wisdom and application are important.  “Stay in your Cell” is not a fixed command but a wisdom Verba.
 
01:15:43 Forrest Cavalier: Or cell phone telling us!
 
01:24:10 Randi: I don’t know how to turn on the mic🙁
 
01:27:39 Forrest Cavalier: Randi, Can you press Alt+A? That unmutes on windows zoom.
 
01:31:17 Rachel: Please pray for us!
 
01:32:41 carolnypaver: Wow! Glad you found your unmute button, Randi!
 
01:33:01 Mark J. Kelly: Thank you Randi
 
01:34:57 Randi: I’ve written all your names on the chapel wall
 
01:35:18 carolnypaver: Thank you very much!
 
01:36:13 Daniel Allen: Thank you Randi

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-One, Part III and Letter Seventy-Two, Part I

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-One, Part III and Letter Seventy-Two, Part I

December 30, 2021

After a brief hiatus we picked up with our reading of St. Theophan’s letters to Anastasia. We concluded Letter 71 with Theophan’s discussion with Anastasia about the struggle with coldness and prayer. Once again he reminds her of the value of memorizing prayers -  in particular the psalms. Yet what is essential is not simply the memorization but rather that she would embrace each word and pray it with a depth of feeling. It is essential that she approach the prayer life not as a task oriented behavior but rather as a spirit guided response to love. There are times when a certain word or prayer will speak to the depths of the heart and she may remain with that prayer for the entire period that she has set aside. The more that she cultivates prayer, the more that she comes to love it, the less need there will be for rules. One thing needs to be understand: prayer is the root of everything!

In letter 72, Theophan is filled with great joy. Anastasia has made a decision to embrace the religious life. He begins by telling her to hold fast to the decision now that it has be made and let it form her thoughts and to further mover her away from worldly desires and pleasures. She is going to live as one completely given over to the Lord. Therefore, she is to kindle that very spirit in which she voiced her decision. Theophan’s initial counsel is to wait patiently. God will test and deepen her desire for this vocation. He will show her how to carry it out. For now, she has to wait and pray in a spirit of obedience and love. Everything that she set out to do in her pursuit of holiness she is to do a little more decisively now. The foundation has been laid; now she must construct the building. Set aside worldly amusements and distractions, Theophan tells her. Become ever more attentive to God’s call. 

---

Text of chat during the group: 

00:14:31 Rachel Pineda: Wow, hello! Good to see everyone.
 
01:13:09 Anthony: I really appreciate this point....the flip side is the pressure to be a religious / priest if you really want to do something good.'
 
01:14:53 Anthony: Good point Joanne on our unawareness of lay saints
 
01:18:31 Anthony: There are lots of lay saints in Lives of the Saints Vol 2, by Catholic Book Publishing Co.
 
01:18:55 renwitter: As usual, compelled to point out that though she is depicted as if she was, Saint Catherine of Siena was not a religious. Nor was Saint Gemma Galgani, or Saint Kateri, Saint Margaret of Cortona, Saint Monica, Joan of Arc, and so many more. An equally long list on the men’s side. It is very common for Saints to be depicted in the habit of a religious order they were closely associated with, and it came make is seem like they were religious, but they weren’t! I always love finding new lay saints :-)
 
01:20:14 Ashley Kaschl: Yes! Thank you, Ren. We aren’t taught that as clearly, if at all.
 
01:21:12 Cathy: Happy New Year Blessing to all!

 

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part I

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XV, Part I

December 21, 2021

Tonight we began Hypothesis 15 in The Evergetinos. I think it is safe to say that on the surface it is perhaps one of the most difficult to listen to so deeply is it tied to the monastic commitment and detachment from the world. The fathers speak to us about the abandonment of the world and not communicating even with one’s relatives. 

However, upon closer reading we see that this Hypothesis is about much more than than this. The exile the fathers speak of really has to do with what goes on deep within the heart; our willingness to detach ourselves from our own ego and from the things of this world in order to respond fully to God‘s will in our life. In subtle ways we rationalize and we place impediments to our responding fully to God’s call to love. One does not have to be a monk or live in the desert to see this go on within the human heart. If we could see all the moments that we let pass in a given day to refer back all that we do to God and seek always to act in obedience to his will we would weep inconsolably. What the fathers invite us to consider is whether or not we are living for the kingdom or the world; do we seek to do the will of God or to obey our own will. 

Christ’s embrace of our humanity elevates our dignity as human beings and what we are capable of doing by the grace of God. We should be willing to sacrifice all to protect that dignity. God has made us one with Him in His Son. Let us rejoice!

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:02:27 Eric Williams: Fr Miron, thank you for raising a good son. I very much appreciate having him as my parish priest. 🙂
 
00:04:32 Miron Kerul Kmec: thank you
 
00:27:25 Anthony: This is really hard.  Since the Enlightenment, the general tendency of intellectual development and education is to "institutionalize" our wills; spiritual/intellectual/material/career avarice has become ingrained in our consciousness as a virtue.
 
00:39:12 Rachel: God is the one Who is capable! 🙏🏼
 
00:41:04 Rachel: I totally understand what George is saying, it can seem close to impossible at times when perspective gets skewed out in the world.
 
01:05:15 Lyle: Page 118:  Lord Jesus, may I avoid worldly contacts that are “unprofitable”.
 
01:12:56 George: the poetry of St John Henry Newman is fantastic
 
01:13:30 Rachel: your blessing!
 
01:14:14 Miron Kerul Kmec: Thank you!!!
 
01:14:17 Rachel: Thank you!!
 
01:14:40 Rachel: I got mine today!! So happy, what a blessing. Thank you!

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-One, Part II

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy-One, Part II

December 9, 2021

Tonight we continued with Letter 71 to Anastasia on “Coldness in Prayer”.  St. Theophan is very direct with Anastasia about the causes of this coldness. Typically, it is because we are carrying out our prayer rule hurriedly and haphazardly. Therefore, he tells Anastasia that she must never carry out any spiritual activity as if it were perfectly established, especially prayer. She must to go about her prayer as if she is doing it for the first time; with the zeal of someone who has come to see the beauty of what God has given them. In fact, Theophan tells her that nothing offends God more than praying hurriedly. It is His gift of love and intimacy and if she treats it lightly, he tells her, she should scold herself for such carelessness. Prayer always will bear fruit within our lives. However, we cannot approach it in a utilitarian fashion, simply to accomplish a task. It is God’s greatest gift to us and so we must approach any discipline surrounding it with devotion and love. Even if we create a prayer rule for ourselves, we must understand that it is God who calls us to prayer and it is God who gives it shape and perfects the gift through his own Spirit of Love. When we begin to see prayer in this way, we will long for it and eventually we will find our greatest delight in it.

---

00:28:54 Ann Grimak: I am very agree with you Father
 
00:30:34 Lyle: P. 277:  “Acquire prayer from the beginning again, and ask for it from the Lord yourself.”  [Jhn 14:RSV] 13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glori-fied in the Son; 14 if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.
 
Entreat our Lord to help us.  He will “do it”, that the Father may be glorified.
 
00:42:49 Lyle: Thank you, for such valuable COUNSEL.
 
00:43:06 Anthony: Amen
 
00:45:45 George: I've noticed that the parishes with the most confession hours have lines for yards on Sunday
 
00:47:38 Carol Nypaver: That is true.  It encourages parishioners to properly prepare for Holy Communion.
 
00:50:19 Edward Kleinguetl: A number of the Eastern Fathers see Eucharist being an essential part of repentance. Confession removes the worms from the wounds and Eucharist is the healing ointment.  They also see it as strengthening us for keeping our commitment to avoid the occasions of sin.
 
00:50:57 Carol Nypaver: So true.
 
00:51:15 Anthony: Our economics (in our case, Capitalism) begins in materialism with a deist god (invisible hand) and treats us as commodities (human resources) for large national or international entities (GDPs, our corporate bosses).  But this is inhuman.  It goes against our created nature.  We have to be the men and women we were created and "recreated" to be.
 
00:54:36 Lyle: I am not a Catholic and I have wrestled with what is really "essential" in my life.  Thank you, Deacon Ed.
 
00:55:42 Rachel Pineda: This can be the whole Christian life. From communion to communion...
 
00:56:21 Edward Kleinguetl: Spot on, Ren!
 
00:56:47 Rachel Pineda: LOL
 
00:56:49 Rachel Pineda: LOL
 
00:56:52 Edward Kleinguetl: TMI
 
00:57:19 Rachel Pineda: It's okay Ren, good points btw.
 
00:59:39 Edward Kleinguetl: We need to desire God above all else.  Doubts are all demons that want to pull us away from God.
 
01:00:34 Edward Kleinguetl: And there will be times when prayer is a struggle -- we are tested relative our fidelity.
 
01:00:49 Edward Kleinguetl: *relative to our fidelity
 
01:00:56 Lyle: Amen, Deacon Ed.
 
01:06:07 renwitter: We need to install a quiet little bell system in the chapel to facilitate this kind of prayer.
 
01:07:37 Lyle: “An Instantaneous prayer life is impossible. Prayer does not come about as you expect—by just wishing for it, and, suddenly, there it is. This does not happen.” - St. Theophan the Recluse
 
01:10:56 Edward Kleinguetl: There will be times where we are distracted, sometimes badly.  The demons want to pull us out of the prayer. The key, at least to me, is to persist and refuse to give in to the temptation to stop praying because it is not going well.  God does not expect perfection in prayer -- St. Paul told us it was impossible. Rather, God wants us to know that we are faithful to him, desiring him above all else.
 
01:11:33 Edward Kleinguetl: Plus, the Jesus Prayer itself is meant is an aid to create stillness
 
01:13:16 Rachel Pineda: God bless everyone. Going I to Mass. Happy and Blessed feast!
 
01:14:11 George: 👍
 
01:17:26 Lyle: I think I understand.  When I DESIRE Him above all else, everything else should/will "fall nto place".
 
01:18:51 Anthony: Thanks everyone!
 
01:19:17 maureencunningham: Blessing

 

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XIII, Part VI and Hypothesis XIV, Part I

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XIII, Part VI and Hypothesis XIV, Part I

December 7, 2021

We began this evening by discussing solitude and silence as a means to coming to the truth. One does not have to leave the world or live in the desert to experience this. The true desert exists within the heart and so the experience of the solitude more often than not means stilling the heart and avoiding the noise of the world to such an extent that we can listen to God. Outside of doing this we have a truncated experience of life itself and we become the deaf to the voice of love and truth.  If God has created us for himself then above all we should want to hear him and to hear his words of love and mercy.  The Fathers’ counsel in this regard is very simple; withdrawing to a remote place begins for most of us simply by closing our mouths; by not adding to the noise of the world but rather allowing ourselves to be drawn into the quiet harbor that prayer offers to us. 

In Hypothesis 14 the Fathers seek to show us the link between humility and the fear of God. Each complements the other and feeds the other in such a way that they illuminate the heart. Our experience of the otherness and the holiness of God shows us the path to truth. Our acknowledgement of the fact that we will one day come face-to-face with God leads us to face reality now in the present.

---

Text of chat during the group: 

00:08:44 Rachel Pineda: Hi Father and everyone!
 
00:09:15 Gabby: Hello Father and everyone. From Australia
 
00:09:33 Edward Kleinguetl: G-day
 
00:10:18 Ashley Kaschl: Hey, Rachel! 😁 and welcome, Gabby! 👋
 
00:13:04 Rachel Pineda: Well, this is really timely. 😬
 
00:17:48 Rachel Pineda: Oh that is such good news!!
 
00:19:11 Edward Kleinguetl: Abba Isidore
 
00:45:49 Anthony: To "second" Rachel, the nothingness of the Calvinist/Lutheran is different than the nothingness of the Catholic/Orthodox
 
00:52:40 Anthony: And the Master is eminently lovable/adorable, so fear distorts perception of the Master, and fear is a liar about the Master
 
00:54:02 Rachel Pineda: I just have to add that the Father I mentioned is a wonderful self sacrificing priest who regularly preaches on the love and mercy of God. I was only speaking of staying in the negative thoughts alone.
 
01:07:35 Erick Chastain: Luther was not led to what he did by medieval asceticism in the augustinians. Look at how Thomas a Kempis and the other Devotio Moderna people remained in the Augustinian order and flourished. Indeed, Luther had many problems and fetishes, the chief among them being a truly diabolical pride.
 
01:16:29 Rachel Pineda: Thank you Father! Thank you everyone!

 

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy, Part II and Seventy-One, Part I

Letters of Spiritual Direction to a Young Soul - Letter Seventy, Part II and Seventy-One, Part I

December 2, 2021

Tonight we concluded Letter 70 of Saint Theophan to Anastasia. He speaks to her about the kind of books that she can read, both religious and secular. As with everything, she must  be discriminating and cautious about the things to which she exposes herself; acknowledging that not everything is of equal value and some things can be destructive. She is to be discerning and keep her emphasis on the spiritual life.  If she reads other things they should reveal to her the wisdom of God as seen in the world that he has created. 

Moving on to Letter 71, St. Theophan begins to address Anastasia‘s experience of coldness in prayer. He knows that in her youthfulness her experience of prayer has been limited and has been driven mostly by positive emotional experience. This has led her unfortunately to be less vigilant and disciplined. One can become careless and pray hurriedly without guarding the thoughts or embracing the wisdom of the Fathers. She must humbly acknowledge this carelessness or negligence and ask God specifically to help her to begin again.  How true this is often for us as well. Like Anastasia we must often humbly acknowledge before God the ways that we have turned away from him and ask him for forgiveness and the grace to start again.

---

00:12:56 renwitter: 😆😆😆 Mark - your picture 😂
 
00:13:52 Mark Cummings: Arthropods are underrated
 
00:14:49 Lyle: P. 276:  “When a benevolently-minded person who has read some story recommends it, you may read it.”  Thank you, Ren and Eric, for suggesting/endorsing - Raniero Can-talamessa’s writings.
 
00:16:10 Anthony: Internet
 
00:20:31 carolediclaudio: What page? :)
 
00:37:39 Lyle: Like her, I neglect to guard my thoughts.
 
00:38:35 Lyle: Great advice from St. Theophan - “Reprimand yourself, if you will, and threaten yourself with Divine Judgement, and you will begin praying properly.”
 
00:40:17 Fr. Miron Kerul-Kmec Jr.: St. Silouan - , “Keep Thy Mind in Hell and Despair Not”
 
00:41:02 Anthony: This way we fail at prayer is like thinking prayer is just another activity, I guess, like playing baseball or mowing the lawn.  But it's an activity of a completely different nature.
 
00:47:30 Edward Kleinguetl: St. Theophan says in the anthology, "The Art of Prayer," we should learn to enjoy prayer.
 
00:56:22 Edward Kleinguetl: "a sinner" was added later.  The Greeks generally use a shorter form.  The key is consistency and the two components.  Who Jesus is (Son God) and who we are (a sinner).
 
00:57:07 Edward Kleinguetl: I like the full prayer.  Acknowledging who Jesus is and who we are (a sinner) and what we need (mercy)
 
00:58:08 Lyle: Amen. Edward.
 
00:59:22 Edward Kleinguetl: Remember the objective of the prayer -- to still the thoughts.  So, consistency is most important
 
00:59:50 George: thank you. I know this was a basic question and I appreciate everyone's patience 
 
01:01:50 Edward Kleinguetl: Having consistency assists one to interiorize the prayer more deeply and simply become part of our life.
 
01:02:33 Edward Kleinguetl: I actually wrote the book because of all these questions.  Same questions as the high school youth have.
 
01:04:16 Edward Kleinguetl: Remembrance of God
 
01:06:02 Edward Kleinguetl: We recognize the actions of God in our lives and we respond with gratitude.  We become more attuned to his presence.
 
01:06:12 Edward Kleinguetl: And previously, we may have missed the subtly of how God reveals himself to us in our daily lives.
 
01:08:08 Edward Kleinguetl: The Jesus Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual life, but removing it from fasting, ascetical practices, etc. is problematic.  It is a way of life.
 
01:09:23 Edward Kleinguetl: Eastern Christian spirituality is not just the prayer, but a whole rhythm and the prayer cannot be simply isolated if one wants to gain the fruits
.
01:10:30 Anthony: Huh.  Good point, Father.  A good pipe or red wine can bring emotional peace.  Exert consumer choice on that, but find some traditional prayer in which to root.
 
01:11:52 Edward Kleinguetl: And not just fasting and ascetical practices, but also a practice of repentance (daily examination, regular Sacramental Confession, Eucharist, and sobriety--attentiveness to thoughts)
 
01:12:57 Lyle: Quoted from:  https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/prayingintherain/2021/11/on-discernment/ “I want to be with people who genuinely feel the struggle for holiness, and want to be helped by each other, under a Priest with a similar imagination.”
 
01:12:57 Edward Kleinguetl: Bingo!  Some see it as an emotional high and not a rigorous practice.
 
01:15:24 Rachel: No..not at all
 
01:18:21 Rachel: Yes!! It was the image of God in the other and staying with Him, in this moment.
 
01:19:19 Rachel: Stop looking for signs, setting up false idols as you said, ideas of what holiness looks like, Saint Paul said he does not even judge himself.
 
01:20:07 Anthony: Or. St Thomas Aquinas.  At Liberty University, I just knew him as a great philosopher.  Now, I see him as a friar and the man who wrote Pange Lingua.
 
01:21:20 Rachel: Yes! Reading the Fathers can be like signposts along the way and you know it when you get there. Oh that is what that sign meant. But not until you get there.
 
01:22:28 Lyle: Amen, Father.  What a revelation when I was first introduced to "The Fathers".
 
01:23:02 Edward Kleinguetl: It is not harsh.  It is true.  American is predominantly rooted in the Protestant tradition.
 
01:24:08 Edward Kleinguetl: It is worth reading John Tracy Ellis's book, "American Catholicism."  Catholics were originally outlawed in the colonies and then went through four major persecutions in US history.
 
01:25:42 Edward Kleinguetl: "Do not let your hearts be troubled."
 
01:30:01 Lyle: Never too late!  Foreign?  Perhaps, but beautiful!
 
01:31:28 Edward Kleinguetl: Vlachos, "Orthodox Psychotherapy"
 
01:31:50 Fr. Miron Kerul-Kmec Jr.: Great Book!
 
01:36:12 Rachel: So sorry, I did not mean to imply there is not a place for psychology.🙏🏼
 
01:37:11 Rachel: LOL I am going to tell my priests Fr, Abernathy said to lower my expectations.
 
01:37:18 Rachel: Thank you everyone and Father!
 
01:37:42 carolediclaudio: lol
 
01:37:43 Cathy: Another wonderful Wednesday! Thank you Father!!!
 
01:37:50 Mark Cummings: Thank you!
 
01:38:15 Rachel: I heard Ren makes prayer ropes!? Last meeting.

 

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XIII, Part V

The Evergetinos - Vol. I, Hypothesis XIII, Part V

November 30, 2021

Tonight we continued with Hypothesis 13 -  considering once again living a remote life; removing oneself from the things of this world and anything that could arouse the passions. So often we find ourselves walking along the edge of a pit, giving no attention to the nature of our thoughts and where they are leading us. It is only by developing that awareness and drawing closer to God through stillness and simplicity of thought that we become further removed from danger. 

Once again we are given stories of those who choose different paths in their lives. What comes through clearly in these stories is that all that is done without clarity about what is within one’s own heart and one’s need for God, all that is done outside of the grace of God is fruitless. We are impotent to change the world much less to change ourselves outside of this relationship. We are all called to enter into the desert.  We are all called to allow the stormy waters to be stilled by Christ in order that we might see not only the truth about our sin but also see the depths of God’s love and mercy. All is Grace and in this alone do we find true comfort and peace.

---

Text of chat during the group:

00:20:27 carolnypaver: Page??
 
00:20:39 carolnypaver: Thank you!
 
00:22:13 Daniel Allen: What page are we on.
 
00:22:21 carolnypaver: 112
 
00:22:29 Daniel Allen: Thank you
 
00:32:09 Anthony: In the Rule of St. Basil, Basil seems to say "we monks have chosen the easier path to single mindedness, but except to marriage, all of us are called to the same standard of going out of the world"  And he specifically names going out from apostates.
 
00:39:39 Lyle: What a blessing to hear that.
 
00:39:49 Anthony: Is sitting before an icon truly like or equivalent to sitting before the Blessed Sacrament?
 
00:53:02 Justin Massengill : If everyone wouldn't mind, there is a young girl in my neighborhood who was just diagnosed with leukemia. In your charity please pray for her and her family. Her name is Ila. 
 
00:54:08 Lyle: Will add her to my prayer list.  Thanks for sharing.
 
01:05:21 Justin Massengill : Do the Eastern Fathers and later Byzantine writers ever touch on the phenomena of scrupulosity?
 
01:11:30 Rachel Pineda: I think Bishop Sheen talks about how one can become very holy, even and perhaps especially, in occupations like a janitor.
 
01:21:10 Rachel Pineda: Wow!! St. John Climacus, pray for us!
 
01:23:13 Daniel Allen: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.”

 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App