October 29, 2010
From The Desert Fathers:
Macarius the Great said, “If you are stirred to anger when you want to reprove someone, you are gratifying your own passions. Do not lose yourself in order to save another.”
Or, as a priest recently advised me: if you are having a hard time judging other people, try to focus on judging yourself instead. Funny how we are usually willing to give ourselves so much latitude.
October 9, 2010
I read this recently and I’ve been thinking about it since:
Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, ‘Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?’
Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, ‘If you will, you can become all flame.’
On the divine fire of God’s love, St. Maximus the Confessor (seventh century) writes:
God, it is said, is the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2) and the rays of his supernal goodness shine down on all men alike. The soul is wax if it cleaves to God, but clay if it cleaves to matter. Which it does depends upon its own will and purpose. Clay hardens in the sun, while wax grows soft. Similarly, every soul that, despite God’s admonitions, deliberately cleaves to the material world, hardens like clay and drives itself to destruction, just as Pharaoh did. But every soul that cleaves to God is softened like wax, and receiving the impress and stamp of divine realities, it becomes “in spirit the dwelling place of God” (Eph 2:22).