Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From the Philokalia

In a comment on the last blog post "A.F." cites a few passages from St Peter of Damaskos included in volume three of the English translation of the Philokalia. I will move the last excerpt up here both because it cites St. Anthony and it captures my best intention for the series:

“…St. Antony says that every word or act ought to be supported by divine Scripture. It is in this spirit that I begin to write… I do not do this in order to teach others - God forbid! - but in order to reprove my unhappy soul, so that, shamed by my own words, as St. John Klimakos says, I who have done nothing but speak may begin to act.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The excerpts in my comments on your blogsite yesterday, address personal questions I have been facing, and are very meaningful to me: questions about my lifelong preference for solitude - for study and prayer and writing...

...Such as, what is one to do with knowing, and with words, and with the drive to write? Is word assembly a talent and obligation to be indulged, even encouraged? Or a compulsion to be overcome, like an addiction, given the ease with which 'artists' can and sometimes do abandon all else? Before devoting oneself and one’s precious little time to solitude and words, what should one consider? General commission of God to serve Him and people? Specific commission to serve, given individual make-up? Conflict with duty of state? Do (the assembler's) words glorify God and edify man or are they assembled into so much spiritual noise and distraction, maybe even misdirection? Do the words lead readers to the face and hand of Almighty God, or to the assembler of the words? Should one expose and indulge thought, versus ponder in the heart like our Blessed Mother?

I'm grateful to know that you, for your own intentions, also place importance on the message of those excerpts.

By the way, if you're interested, I found your site while searching 'St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain,' and came upon a June 2002 post. Skimming your site, I also see that you have written posts about another area of great interest to me: the Jesus Prayer, and praying without ceasing. (I have been journaling my untrained experience with them.) I very much look forward to spending time in your site relative to that.

In Jesus, A.F.