Posted By: Myles Confessions 7:18 - 11/27/06 08:18 PM
I would like to share this with you all and hope to start a trend of East-West exchanges on spirituality. In the past when I have posted here I've found that more than anything we've spoken around the subject rather than posted concrete examples from our respective churches. I hope this will start a trend and you will have the Westerners here soon plumming the depths of the Latin patrimony and the Easterners responding in kind. smile

For particular reasons this passage touched me today

I began to search for a means of gaining the strength I needed to enjoy you, but I could not find this means until I embraced the mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, who is a man, like them. and also rules as God over all things, blessed for ever. He was calling to me and saying I am the way; I am truth and life. He it was who united with our flesh that food which I was too weak to take; for the Word was made flesh so that your Wisdom, by which you created all things, might be milk to suckle us in infancy. For I was not humble enough to concieve of the humable Jesus Christ as my God, nor had I learnt what lesson his human weakness was meant to teach. The lesson is that your Word, the eternal Truth, which far surpasses even the higher parts of your creation, raises up to himself all who are subject to him. From the clay of which we are made he built for himself a lowly house in this world below, so that by this means he might cause those who were to be made subject to him to abandon themselves and come over to his side. He would cure thtme of the pride that swelled up in their hearts and would nurture love in its place, so that they should no longer stride ahead confidence in themselves, but might realize their own weakness when at their feet they saw God himself, enfeebled by sharing this garment of our mortality. And at last, from weariness, they would cast themselves down upon his humanity, and when it rose they too would rise.
--St Augustine, Confessions 7:18
Posted By: Ghosty Re: Confessions 7:18 - 11/27/06 11:18 PM
I think this is a worthy endeavor. Being an ardent Thomist myself, I'll share a bit from one of my favorite Thomistic mystics, whom I've been reading recently:
In thus allowing God to work in it, the soul (having rid itself of every mist and stain of the creatures, which consists in having its will perfectly united with that of God, for to love is to labour to detach and strip itself for God's sake of all that is not God) is at once illumined and transformed in God, and God communicates to it His supernatural Being, in such wise that it appears to be God Himself, and has all that God Himself has. And this union comes to pass when God grants the soul this supernatural favour, that all the things of God and the soul are one in participant transformation; and the soul seems to be God rather than a soul, and is indeed God by participation; although it is true that its natural being, though thus transformed, is as distinct from the Being of God as it was before, even as the window has likewise a nature distinct from that of the ray, though the ray gives it brightness.

- St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Confessions 7:18 - 11/28/06 04:23 AM

I looked at your post earlier and wanted to come back to it later. First, I want to applaud what you are trying to do. I think we need more of this here on the forum, less controversy and more discussion of the things that make us grow spiritually.

Saint Augustine's words hit a chord there. How often does our own pride inhibit us from truly embracing The Way, The Truth, and the Life? How often do we really take the time to read and ponder of such great writings? How often do we really pray and study scripture? Instead we try to make Christ and His teaching conform to our will, teaching, and belief, instead of the other way around. Very few of us work on developing an understanding and a genuine relationship.

While I am not an ardent follower of any one particular school such as Ghosty, I do try to immerse myself in the writings of the Church Fathers. They speak volumes is so few words. They all seem to direct us back to the one point, we need to confess not just once, but constantly that our Lord has done so much for us as His creation, something I do not think we are totally willing to do in return in most cases.

I think we need to as is given to us in the first lection from Genesis on the first day of the Great Fast, embrace the words, In the beginning God created.... Our confession must start with a beginning, and be built upon as God created the order of the world. This was done not that we should revel as the ruler of all, but to grow closer to Him, and and treasure and use the many gifts He bestows on us in our lives for His glory, and for our salvation. We need to begin to confess and embrace our Lord. We need to confess our ignorance and develop an understanding of that Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we so desire to live, we need to start our confession like Saint Augustine and by Jesus Christ confess the reality of what we are and begin working on what we need to do.

Forgive my ramblings. Just a few thoughts.

Father Anthony+
Posted By: Myles Re: Confessions 7:18 - 11/28/06 01:09 PM
What rambling? wink The only thing I would've asked you to add was a nice citation from one of the saints of Orthodoxy to round off your post. smile
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Confessions 7:18 - 11/28/06 04:12 PM
Dear Myles,

Like this:
Whatever helps us to achieve purity of heart, we must follow with all our might; whatever hinders us from it, we must shun as a dangerous and hurtful thing.

Abba Moses

He is one of my favorite desert fathers.

Father Anthony+
Posted By: Myles Re: Confessions 7:18 - 11/28/06 04:19 PM
Thank you Fr Anthony. Much better wink If anyone else, Oriental or Occidental has a quote, it'd be more than welcome too. smile
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