Religion & Spirituality:Spirituality
The Evergetinos - Hypothesis XLII, Part II
If I were to give a title to this evening’s session, it would be “What is the place of the Christian in a post-Christian culture? Even better, “What is the place of the Christian in an age of nihilism? When we begin to consider our conduct in relationship to others, how we are to conform ourselves not simply to a law or teaching but to Christ himself, we are confronted with something quite radical. We are to meet insults, hatred, misunderstandings and aggression with humility. Love is always meant to trump the other things that we hold on to with a firm grip; our own judgment, our own will, our own opinion and the satisfaction of our own desires above the needs of others.
What we are presented with in the teachings of the fathers is rooted in the capacity of the soul for true discernment. The one who is pure of heart is able to see things as God sees them and so see their true value. Therefore, the fathers tell us that in this world we should take the place of a “stranger”; that is, not seeking to have the first word or seeking to have any desire at all except the desire for God and that which draws us toward Him. We are to bend like a reed in the wind when it comes to our relationships with other people. What value does our personal opinion have or the acceptance of some truth that we speak that is greater than love? To stand up against the winds is to court danger; it is to give rise to quarrels and cause trouble.
If we want to live with others, we are not to desire to give them orders, but like Christ we are to become an example of obedience. Even as we read the fathers, we must keep Christ before eyes for he is the standard. In the end, it was His actions that revealed a perfect obedience; an obedience rooted in love and willing to empty itself and take on the form of a servant. We are to strive for this alone – that our love would be cruciform.
Text of chat during the group:
It is Free