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passions

My Rage and Spirituality from Below (Part IV) »

February 27th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By contrast, spirituality from above reacts to the rage that boils up in us by repressing or crushing it: “Rage is not supposed to happen. As a Christian I’ve got to be friendly and balanced at all times. So I have to control my rage.” Spirituality from below would mean questioning my rage, questioning what God wants to tell me with it. Perhaps my rage is pointing to some deep […]

Spirituality from Below (Part III) »

February 20th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

For the monks humility is the courage to face the truth, the courage to accept their own earthliness, their humanity. The monks test one another in humility, so as to find out whether someone really is a man of God. “A monk was highly praised to Anthony by the brothers. Then Anthony took him and put him to the test, to see if he could endure insults. When it became […]

Spirituality from Below (Part II) »

February 13th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The following remark has been attributed to Anthony: “If you see that a young man is striving for heaven with his own will, grasp his feet and drag him down; for it will do him no good.” It makes no sense for young people to meditate too early on, to take the path to mysticism too soon. First they have to come to terms with their own reality. They have […]

Spirituality from Below (Part I) »

February 6th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The spirituality bequeathed to us by the moralizing theology of modern times works from the top down. It presents high ideals that we are supposed to translate into reality. Typical ideals include selflessness, self-control, continuous amiability, selfless love, freedom from anger, and mastery of sexual desire. Spirituality from above surely has some positive meaning for young people, since it challenges them and tests their powers. It prompts them to grow […]

Saint Anthony of the Desert. “You Are Crazy; You Are Not Like Us!” »

January 17th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

If the desert elders are not selfish, if they are simply men and women who are learning the hard lesson of sharing, are they perhaps opponents of the flesh? Do they hate the body? It is not difficult to find harsh statements about the passions and against the body in the Sayings. Yet, we should be careful to ask what these statements actually imply. Are the elders speaking of subduing […]