Pastor’s Blog-Aug.

Aug 12, 2019 by

In past months, we have been examining what the ancient desert fathers and mothers called the passions; obsessive habits, thoughts, or emotions that skew our vision and prevent us from fulfilling the Great Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). We have also looked at some of the virtues, including one of the most basic virtues, humility. Now, through the wise and practical teachings of the early Egyptian monastics, we will spend some months examining the most fundamental of all the virtues, that of prayer.

   Roberta Bondi writes, “That our wholeness as human beings depends upon living out the Great Commandment is the most fundamental of all early monastic convictions. The starting point of a life of prayer is to know, no matter how dimly, that we are created for and called to love. . . . Love is the final goal of the life of prayer, and loving and learning how to love are the daily work and pleasure of prayer.”1 In approaching this goal, the early monastics stressed that being made in the image of God unites us all in love. They also recognized that the passions distort the image, making love difficult; and the virtues enable us, by God’s grace, to overcome temptation and be reconciled with God, others, and ourselves. The virtues are cultivated through regular prayer.

In the coming months, some of the things we will look at more closely will be the ways in which God enables us to cultivate the other virtues through that most basic virtue of prayer.

Blessings for the end of summer,

Betsy Caudill

 

1 Roberta C. Bondi, To Pray & to Love: Conversations on Prayer with the Early Church (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), p. 28.

 

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