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Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #267322
12/08/07 08:08 AM
12/08/07 08:08 AM
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theophan Offline OP
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ray--

On Prayer and His Life is Mine are both available from St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, Tuckahoe, NY.

BOB

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #267438
12/08/07 09:34 PM
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Ray Kaliss Offline
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Originally Posted by theophan
ray--

On Prayer and His Life is Mine are both available from St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, Tuckahoe, NY.

BOB


Thank you.

I already told my wife this is the one Christmas present I want.

Peace be with us all
-ray

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #267539
12/09/07 06:02 PM
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ray:

You might also enjoy the work that I originally cited: The Communion of Love by Matthew the Poor, also from SVS Press.

This work has taken me some time to really understand--and many years of life experience. I bought my copy in 1990 and just recently pulled it back off the shelf to reread. It has taken me the years in between to have enough life experience and faith experience to BEGIN to understand the vision articulated by this holy monk of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

I think that's the challenge in the spiritual life: NOT to try to jump into works that are far beyond one's experience and faith development. And to be sure to always run the works one is reading by one's spiritual father and/or confessor.

In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/09/07 06:03 PM.
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #267753
12/10/07 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan

I think that's the challenge in the spiritual life: NOT to try to jump into works that are far beyond one's experience and faith development.
BOB


That seems true Bob..

I was trained in St John of the Cross for several years a longggg time ago ... very confusing ... only in the past 5 years do I understand him and think 'this is so simple - why didn't I get it before?' and that is some 30 years later!

Peace to you and your church Bob.
-ray

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #267768
12/10/07 08:22 PM
12/10/07 08:22 PM
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St. John of the Cross speaks to a spiritually mature audience. Last time I attempted reading him it was past my head. I can understand it could be be 30 years before I understand him as he understood his subject.

Terry

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Terry Bohannon] #267781
12/10/07 09:34 PM
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TERRY:

Did you attempt to read him in conjunction with an experienced spiritual director? Sometimes that makes the read a bit easier. If you approach your confessor and ask him to read a chapter or two and then meet with you so you can discuss it and ask questions you may definitely benefit from St. John of the Cross. No need to wait 30 years.

I picked up this work and no one that i knew had ever heard of the man or of this work. So I tried it and kept my spiritual father informed, but he did not read it at the same time so it never went anywhere.

You might be able to find someone online with whom you could study and profit from some of St. John's work.

But on a side note, one ought to always begin a spiritual--or any study--with a prayer that asks the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds with the study we are about to undertake. I use this one:

Lord Jesus, send down on us the grace of the Holy Spirit to endow and confirm our spiritual powers, so that, giving heed to learning, we may increase therein for Your greater honor and glory, for the benefit and building up of Your Holy Church, for the benefit and building up of the community of which we are members, and for the benefit, comfort, and support of our families. AMEN.

In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 12/10/07 09:40 PM.
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #267784
12/10/07 09:46 PM
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Bob,

My intention has been that before I try any of St. John of the Cross' works, I will read Interior Castle. St. Teresa of Avila is, to me, a comfortable read.

Your suggestion is a good one. I grasp his imagery enough that, as when I read Dante the first time, I could see that the depth of meaning in his language requires keener eyes. Perhaps I will find someone who will help guide the sight of my understanding.

Terry

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Ray Kaliss] #269031
12/17/07 07:48 PM
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But I have found, that it is always best that the soul remain hidden and out of the public eye. Nothing will ruin a soul in whom God is working .. more and faster .. than his mystical life being taken out into the public.


Ray:

So say the Desert Fathers. "A virtue made public is soon spoiled (or destroyed)." I would venture to say that it is destroyed because of the attention of others that can easily lead to vainglory, self-love, and the destruction of humility that comes when one focuses on oneself rather than on God and the gift given.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #269666
12/20/07 10:36 PM
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Theophan,

Quite a commendable title for this thread! In the Syriac and Malankara Churches, today is the commemoration of Mar Ignathios (St. Ignatius) of Antioch who is quoted as saying: "True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor."

Amen and Amen!

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Michael_Thoma] #269757
12/21/07 02:44 PM
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Mar Ignathios (St. Ignatius) of Antioch who is quoted as saying: "True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor."


Michael Thoma:

In the context of this whole thread, what a profound next step in the meditation on Christian suffering and its eternal value. I think I'll have to print this all out and use it for some meditation after the whole Nativity festivities are over.

Thank you so much for this addtion.

Quote
". . . I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor."


In Christ,

BOB

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #269934
12/22/07 11:05 PM
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As a tangential note to this thread and in light of Ignathios (St. Ignatius) of Antioch's quote, it has occurred to me that he is speaking of Jesus.

When we think of suffering in the context of our Christian commitment and in light of Christ's suffering for our sake and the way in which we can participate in it for eternal value, it might be well to think of "suffering" as the Person of Jesus Himself. In the same way that He says that He is Truth--that is, that Truth originates in His Person and is identical to Him; He is Truth as Being--so He is Mercy because it, too, originates in His Person and there is no mercy or truth apart from Him. So, too, is suffering a Person--all suffering that has eternal, redemptive value originates in His Person as Being.

So when the venerable Mar Ignatios says that he is in love with suffering, he is saying that he is in love with Christ; and then wonders, as we all ought, if he is worthy of Christ. He has pierced the Mystery of God coming here in the coming Feast of the Incarnation of God in the flesh, Jesus Christ's Nativity. No, we all fall short of His Glory, but He makes us worthy by plunging us into His Mystery--His redemptive act.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #271278
01/03/08 09:09 PM
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These few paragraphs from Metropolitan Anthony Bloom's work seems to fit into this whole idea of our suffering as Christians and how we live with it.


From Living Prayer, by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), Templegate Publishers, Springfield, IL, c. 1966, pp14 to 19.

“Love your enemies, bless them that hate you” (Mt 5:44), is a command that may be more or less easy to follow; but to forgive those who inflict suffering one one’s beloved is altogether different, and it makes people feel as if taken in disloyalty. Yet, the greater our love for the one who suffers, the greater our ability to share and to forgive, and in that sense the greatest love is achieved when one can say with Rabbi Yehel Mikhael “I am my beloved.” As long as we can say “I” and “he” we do not share the suffering and we cannot accept it. The mother of God at the foot of the cross was not in tears, as shown so often in western paintings; she was so completely in communion with her son that she had nothing to protest against. She was going through her own death. The mother was fulfilling now what hat begun on the day of the presentation of Christ to the temple, when she had given her son. Alone of all the children of Israel he had been accepted as a sacrifice of blood. And she, who had brought him then, was now accepting the consequence of her ritual gesture which was finding fulfilment in reality. As he was then in communion with her, she was completely in communion with him now and she had nothing to protest against.

It is love that makes us one with the object of our love and makes it possible for us to share unreservedly, not only the suffering but also the attitude towards suffering and the executioner. We cannot imagine the mother of God or John the disciple protesting against what was the explicit will of the son of God crucified. “No one is taking my life from me, I lay it down of myself” (Jn 10:18). He was dying willingly, of his own accord for the salvation of the world; his death was this salvation and therefore those who believed in him and wanted to be at one with him could share the suffering of his death, could undergo the passion together with him; but they could not reject it, they could not turn against the crowd that had crucified Christ, because this crucifixion was the will of Christ himself.
We can protest against someone’s suffering, we can protest against someone’s death, either when he himself, rightly or wrongly, takes a stand against it, or else when we do not share his intention and his attitude towards death and suffering; but then our love for that person is an incomplete love and creates separation. . . .

But to share with Christ his passion, his crucifixion, his death, means to accept unreservedly all these events, in the same spirit he did, that is, to accept them in an act of free will, to suffer together with the man of sorrows, to be there in silence, the very silence of Christ, interrupted only by a few decisive words, the silence of real communion; not just the silence of pity, but of compassion, which allows us to grow into complete oneness with the other so that there is no longer one and the other, but only one life and one death.
On many occasions throughout history people witnessed persecution and were not afraid, but shared in the suffering and did not protest; for instance . . . martyrs who helped one another but never turned against the tormentors. The spirit of martyrdom . . . in itself, its basic attitude (is) a spirit of love which cannot be defeated by suffering or injustice. A very young priest . . . imprisoned at the beginning of the Russian revolution, and came out a broken man, was asked what was left of him, and he answered: :Nothing is left of me, they have burnt out every single thing, love only survives.” A man who can say that has the right attitude and anyone who shares his tragedy must also share in his unshakeable love.

. . . a Russian bishop . . . said that it is a privilege for a Christian to die a martyr, because none by a martyr can, at the last Judgment, take his stand in front of God’s Judgment seat and say, “According to thy word and thy example, I have forgiven. Thou hast no claim against them any more.” Which means that the one who suffers martyrdom in Christ, whose love is not defeated by suffering, acquires unconditional power of forgiving over the one who has inflicted suffering. And this can be applied . . . on the level of everyday life; anyone who suffers a minor injustice (and is in Christ)** from someone else can forgive or refuse to forgive. But this is a two-edged sword; if you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven either.
_____________________________________________________
**my addition

It would seem that one who has been plunged into Christ acquires the ability to “put on Christ” and give every bit of his suffering an eternal value, even the most minor slights inflicted by others. It would also seem that it is a privilege for a Christian to suffer wrongs without complaint because of Christ’s example and our baptismal commitment to become like Him, thereby giving them eternal value. To refuse forgiveness, is to refuse Christ because He is calling us in every situation to join Him in His salvific suffering for the whole of mankind.

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #271308
01/04/08 12:26 AM
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What exactly do you mean by--

crazy [size:8pt] But to share with Christ his passion, his crucifixion, his death, means to accept *unreservedly all these events, in the same spirit he did, that is, to accept them in an act of free will, to suffer together with the man of sorrows*, to be there in silence, the very silence of Christ, interrupted only by a few decisive words, the silence of real communion; not just the silence of pity, but of compassion, which allows us to grow into complete oneness with the other so that there is no longer one and the other, but only one life and one death.
On many occasions throughout history people witnessed persecution and were not afraid, but shared in the suffering and did not protest; for instance . . . martyrs who helped one another but never turned against the tormentors. The spirit of martyrdom . . . in itself, its basic attitude (is) a spirit of love which cannot be defeated by suffering or injustice. A very young priest . . . imprisoned at the beginning of the Russian revolution, and came out a broken man, was asked what was left of him, and he answered: :Nothing is left of me, they have burnt out every single thing, love only survives.” A man who can say that has the right attitude and anyone who shares his tragedy must also share in his unshakeable love.

. . . a Russian bishop . . . said that it is a privilege for a Christian to die a martyr, because none by a martyr can, at the last Judgment, take his stand in front of God’s Judgment seat and say, “According to thy word and thy example, I have forgiven. Thou hast no claim against them any more.” Which means that the one who suffers martyrdom in Christ, whose love is not defeated by suffering, acquires unconditional power of forgiving over the one who has inflicted suffering. And this can be applied . . . on the level of everyday life; anyone who suffers a minor injustice (and is in Christ)** from someone else can forgive or refuse to forgive. But this is a two-edged sword; if you do not forgive, you will not be forgive
n either.
[/size]
[Is there a difference between from what you state here about suffering and forms of abuse?.

I am a little confused about what is considered suffering and abuse.
Jesus doesn't want us to be abused and yet he accepted it?
and as a Christian are we suppose to do what we can with in our means for ourself or our neighbor and just sit there and not try to defend ourself as opposed to being martyr?]

{I do not know why the Lord always puts my mind in a contrary mode in trying to figure these things out}.

Thank You & God Bless,

Dandelion

Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: Dandelion] #271343
01/04/08 09:58 AM
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[Is there a difference between from what you state here about suffering and forms of abuse?.


Dandelion:

I'm quoting Metropolitan Anthony and relating this passage to the one first posted on this thread. It relates to personal suffering--disease, chronic illness, our limitations and other things with which we bear in life that bring to our attention the facts that we are on pilgrimage, that we have no permanent home here, and that we are being stripped as Christ was stripped of His garments of our earthly attachemtns in order to be ready for our eternal home with Him.

That having been said, abuse has no place in this understanding if you mean that women should accept abuse at the hands of their husbands or significant others--or the reverse for men who suffer abuse at the hands of their spouses and significant others--as a religious duty. Certainly one has the right to distance oneself from further abuse and should do so.

On the other hand, whatever suffering we have can have eternal value, whether it is considered abuse or not. It seems to me that this is a profound set of insights into the value of suffering in the life of the Christian. The problem here is that so few of us come to the full understanding of what Baptism is about and how it links our every life activity to Him. We tend to recoil at anything that involves suffering--I even listened to a lecture by a Catholic bishop last evening who stated that suffering is an evil that we should pray to be delivered from. Having suffered at the hands of another, we ought to come to understand that we are called to forgive the person who has caused our suffering. I think that as in so many areas of the spiritual life, we are called to follow as the Lord has given us capacity to follow. The vision that these two holy men have outlined is difficult and can even be said to be "the narrow way." Whether any of us has the grace and capacity to walk it is another matter.

In Christ,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 01/04/08 11:33 AM.
Re: Suffering is our path to glory [Re: theophan] #271555
01/05/08 11:39 AM
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Thank you Bob for an excellent post!

In Christ,
Alice

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