Sunday, January 20, 2008

ORTHODOX PRAYER LIFE-the interior way III-Official ending of this series(also, Books I've Read(or am reading)-Eleven

I will discontinue posting on this book. There are several reasons and I will briefly touch on them.

The first is that when I initially began this project, I had recently completed Christ is in Our Midst and relatively speaking, Christ is in our Midst was easy to post on as its layout is quite different from Orthodox Prayer Life. Christ is in our Midst is laid out as a collection of letters which I found suited my, at that time, want to write on.

Orthodox Prayer Life, I quickly found, was not such a book. I have pages of notes on it and I barely plumbed its depths. This book would have required me a long time to complete at the depth it needs to be expounded on. I had wanted to not read anything else during this time as my original intention was to post extensively on all the books I read as I read them, but this too I began to realize was unrealistic as it would greatly hold me up in my stash reading.

But more importantly, even when I had intended on following through with my original intent, I found reservations coming up because the author is Coptic. This means that my Church, the Orthodox Catholic Church, is not in communion at the Altar with the author and his church. Theologically he is a monophysite and therefore a heretic. I do not mean this to sound as harsh as it it is coming across, but nonetheless I feel I must express my reasons clearly. If anyone reads this, I hope you would please forgive me, as I too am a sinner of the greatest magnitude and am the first and foremost estranged from God through my willful rebellion against Him but only accepted in the Beloved as He first loved me while yet I was far from Him.

Father Matta El-Meskeen is no doubt someone who knows of what he speaks. I will not post on his writings precisely because of the depths at which he takes the reader from his own experience. I was not able to detect the heresy of monophytism in his writing but that does not mean it is not there. What we believe and hold to unavoidably comes out in its essence through every fiber of our being and in our communications which proceed from our being. Because I was not able to detect this heresy only shows my own lack of depth but nevertheless I cannot in good conscience post and endorse him unreservedly. What I post on, in regards to books I wish to share with the readers of this blog, I feel I must be able to completely endorse, as speaking that which I would speak if the writing had fallen to me.

I would conclude that I think the book has much value and that I learned alot from Matthew the Poor. His collection of sayings from the Fathers is alone a good reason to read this book, but again I would urge the reader always to follow our Holy Chruch as She is our Mother, protecting and guiding us. If one is not in communion with Her, by all means be charitable and listen, but always with care and discretion, not leaving ourselves open without any defense against that which we allow ourselves to ponder.



Anonymous said...

Did the book help you to get praying?


Sophocles said...

A complex question, actually. I enjoyed this book but again, I could not let myself go to swallow it whole without reservation.

As well, I have been practicing prayer for some time now so it did not help me to get praying but it did enrich my already existing prayer.