Saturday, September 22, 2007

Christ is in our Midst LIII(letter 81)

" 81

28 April 1954

The Holy Church sings: 'Let us purify our senses, and we shall see'.25 Briefly put; but what depth there is in these words. They refer to two states of man: the active and the contemplative. If with God's help a person cleanses his heart from passions: pride, conceit, hypocrisy, slyness, anger and the rest, then by the Lord's grace he comes to the original state in which Adam was created. Yes, this is the state of the holy people of God. Without the active life there can be no contemplative life, and not without purpose were the Holy Fathers up in arms against themselves as against an enemy.

The Holy Fathers went through these two lives, active and contemplative, in experience, and they have left us cheir legacy in their wise writings. Nor can their writing be understood fully by the mind alone. It is understood through living.

25. Easter canon, first ode. "


I wish to emphasize how important is what Father John is here saying about the necessity of living the active life and that the contemplative life flows from the living of it but not the reverse; not without producing theoretical realities not based on the experience of the actual struggle to live out the Gospel.

This continues a theme I began in my previous post as I follow Father John's lead in these letters.

I also restate from a previous post what the significance is of the "Holy Fathers" and why we should heed them not academically but as those who relate to us their struggle against the flesh, the Devil and the world in order to live out the Gospel.

We must always remember that our Holy Faith concerns itself with real experiential truth and not some scholarly person's, even if dazzingly brilliant, opinion or theory on the Reality That Is God, in whom we live and move and have our being(Acts 17:28).

"The Holy Fathers" have earned this name and we would be wise to reverence their writings and their person.


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