Religion & Spirituality:Spirituality
The Evergetinos - Hypothesis XLII, Part I
“In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start.”
W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
“The road of cleansing goes through that desert. It shall be named the way of holiness.”
Isaiah 35.8 (LXX)
It has been said that all true renewal within the life of the church comes through the desert fathers, or rather through the embrace of their wisdom. For it is not a worldly wisdom but the wisdom of the gospel, the wisdom of the kingdom that they set before us; not in an abstract fashion but through lived experience.
The desert fathers looked deep within; precisely where Christ directs us to search for the kingdom. It’s not an easy thing to do; to look deep within oneself. Often what begins to emerge can seem ugly and repulsive to us. Sin has not left us untouched. We know its darkness, its suffering, and how it shapes the way we view ourselves, the world, and others.
However, this inward gaze and the ascetic life aids us in seeing with a greater clarity not only our sin but the image of something beautiful beyond imagination; the soul made in the image and likeness of God, transformed and transfigured by his grace. Even in the midst of the struggle, the beauty of God‘s mercy and grace begins to manifest itself, and to reshape the human heart. We begin to understand that the perfection to which we are called is not moral perfection; nor is it the perfection of our natural virtues. It is to share in the very life of God. Christ strength is to become our strength. His virtue is to become our virtue.
It has been said the Christ is the most beautiful of all human beings. In him, we see what we shall be through the grace of God. All that is dark in us, all that becomes an impediment to our ability to love gradually begins to fade away. We no longer cling to the demands of our own will or the pettiness of our ego. We begin to see that in Christ we have all and lack nothing. It is in this realization that we become truly free and capable of love. How beautiful!
Text of chat during the group:
It is Free