Religion & Spirituality:Spirituality
The Evergetinos - Hypothesis XLIII, Part II and Hypothesis XLIV, Part I
I can say this without any caveat - reading the Evergetinos is one of the most important things that we could do for ourselves in the spiritual life. I know that might sound extreme; especially given all of the writings of the Fathers that we have read over the course of the years, including the writings of the Philokalia.
Yet, there’s something exceptional about the Evergetinos. We are not only given specific teachings but we are shown the lived experience of the fathers; how they came to understand things in the way that they did about the human person, the struggle with sin, and the action of God’s grace. This became especially apparent in this evening’s group. Our focus, in particular, was on the virtue of humility. After pondering the sayings of the Fathers - that the truly wise individual is the one who has control over his volition, who seeks in every way to make his will subject to God and understands that the will of God is advantageous to him in a manner surpassing all human understanding.
In and of itself this is beautiful and speaks to the heart. However, we segued into a story from the life of Saint Pachomius describing the birth and development of humility in the soul of one of his monks Simvanos. Suddenly all the truths we read about came to life. We move from the notional to the real very quickly. The human mind and our tendency towards rationalization easily draws us back to a worldly way of perceiving reality. Whereas the lives of the Saints reveal to us the heart of man and God; what it is to be created in the image and likeness of God, what it is to neglect that truth, and the beauty of the soul that emerges when the grace of God brings healing where once there was only sin.
Text of chat during the group:
00:05:30 FrDavid Abernethy: page 377 Letter B
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