Friday, October 15, 2010

Words of Wisdom from the Abbot of the Monastery of Hamatoura

Every day, we ask ourselves, do we know the Lord’s will? Do we love the Lord’s will? Do we do it with yearning and love? For example, the monk who first comes to the monastery, no matter what he read about monasticism or self-sacrifice and the spiritual life and service, he read it from a distance. So very quickly he is surprised once he is in the monastery that he is not able to be obedient, for example, that he cannot sacrifice. If he is hasty, he does not stand firm and does not bear fruit and he leaves himself to boredom and despair, and departs. The one who knows himself perfectly, that he cannot be obedient, that he cannot be humble, that he does not possess true virtues, in his patience and his harmony with monastery’s order and discipline, becomes holy because he acquires these virtues with patience and he bears good fruit. Then, when he talks to you about discipline, you can understand something. If he talks to you before having gained experience, before having reached this point of brokenness, sacrifice, and obedience in all humility, he cannot talk to you because all you hear out of his mouth is gibberish and incomprehensible words, since they do not spring from experience. For this reason it says: they bear fruit with patience, that is that they persist in this every day. Virtue does not come so quickly and we do not quickly become great saints, because it’s not magic and it’s not just a button that we push. It takes the whole life and sacrifice until death in order to bear good fruit.

Read the whole thing Notes on Arab Orthodoxy

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