Saturday, August 04, 2007

Christ is in our Midst-VII(letter 5)


In letter 5 Father John tells the young lady:

"It is true that one should not reveal one's inner state even to a confessor if he is not living the same kind of inner life. St. Anthony the Great writes: 'If you speak about a spiritual matter to one who is not spiritual, it will seem ridiculous to him.' "

In my own experience this has been born out time and again.

I once used to believe that through a clear, logical exposition of the Faith, whoever was to hear said presentation could not but help be convinced through the sheer weight of the argument to believe.

I have since drastically revised my belief. I have come to believe that the matter lies not alone in the realm of logic, but a host of other factors must be taken into account which, for lack of a better term at hand, coalesce into a world view from which the person being spoken to about
the Faith must be approached from and to.

Meaning, this person "protrudes forth" from *his* reality and is engaging me in *mine* and I, as I confront the situation, must concur with the Apostle and the Holy Fathers that I merely do the work; the power of the conversion lies outside myself, this power does not belong to me but seems to be reserved solely in the grasp of Him. Seems, I say, because once again only through the attempt over and over to bring about my desired end and observing and learning in these attempts have I, over time, relinquished my notions of wielding the power to convert.

In future letters, Father John repeats to the young lady a recurring theme of: "You strive spiritually, God will enlarge your spiritual life. Continue carrying the striving."

This all ties in to this powerlesness producing humility. And along these same lines about not being able to share with others who are not spiritual, this too produces humility. "I so want to share with you this and that but I know if I share this and that you will think me crazy." So I learn to hold the information. At first bitterly, because you don't understand, and then with hope because He understands and wants me to learn that I am an earthen vessel trying to contain heavenly treasures, Himself.

4 comments:

Constantine said...

I can read it now. Thank you. Very beautiful writings. Simple.

Sophocles said...

Costa,

I'm glad you're here. And yes, beautiful writings.

Justin said...

Not only will people find the comment ridiculous they might not even want to talk to you anymore. They might be repulsed. I guess we have a God Consciousness around us letting us know to communicate with like minded others. I dont want to ruin an opportunity later by exposing to much at once. Attraction rather than promotion. If they want what we have they do what we do

Sophocles said...

Justin,

Yes. Discretiion according to the listener is the key.