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Saint Sophia Blog: July

Staying by Oneself (Part III) »

July 31st, 2012    Posted in Daily Meditations

Makarios the Great said: “What is needful for monks sitting in their cells is that they should collect their understanding far from all worldly cares, without letting themselves wander around in the vanities of this world, that they should strain toward a single goal, their thoughts constantly directed to God, remaining always concentrated, allowing no worldly distraction into their hearts, neither carnal imaginings nor cares about their parents, nor consolation […]

Contemplation and Self-Abandonment »

July 30th, 2012    Posted in Daily Meditations

Contemplation (the prayer beyond words and ideas) is a way to describe what Jesus did in the desert. It is not learning as much as it is unlearning. It is not explaining as much as containing and receiving everything, and holding onto nothing. It is refusing to judge too quickly and refining your own thoughts and feelings by calm observation and awareness over time—in the light of the Big Picture. […]

Re-creation »

July 27th, 2012    Posted in Daily Meditations

Once two brothers went to visit an old monastic. It was not the old man’s habit to eat every day. When he saw the brothers, however, he welcomed them with joy and said: “Fasting has its own reward, but if you eat for the sake of love you satisfy two commandments, for you give up your own will and also fulfill the commandment to refresh others.” It’s not something that most […]

Staying by Oneself (Part II) »

July 26th, 2012    Posted in Daily Meditations

The inner attitude with which monks are supposed to sit in their cells is described by another elder in a drastic image: “When you dwell in the desert as a hesychast [a person who practices quietistic meditation], don’t imagine that you are doing something great. Instead, think of yourself as a dog that has been driven away from the crowd and tied up because he bites and bothers people.” The […]

Members of One Another (Part IX): Weep with Me, Forest and Desert (II) »

July 25th, 2012    Posted in Daily Meditations

The whole creation was altered by thy Passion: for all things suffered with Thee, knowing, O Word, that Thou holdest all in unity. This is a remarkable statement, but it does not stand alone. The ‘Praises’ return frequently to the theme of this all-inclusive co-suffering: Though Thou wast shut within the narrowest of sepulchres, O Jesus, all creation knew Thee as true King of heaven and earth. The whole earth […]