March 18, 2020 · 10:49 am
Day 19 March 18
Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labour and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
Question- Do I take the time to really work on my anger?
Prayer- LORD, your peace surpasses all my understanding. When anger rises within me, please calm my mind and soothe my heart with your gentle words. Fill my whole life with your perfect peace. May my personality be shaped by your peace rather than my frustration. Amen
September 23, 2015 · 8:53 am
Restrain yourself from affection toward many people, for fear lest your spirit be distracted, so that your interior peace may not be disturbed.
——Abba Evagrius of the Desert
On face value it would seem to be a very harsh thing to say that we should stray away from having many friends and connections. I think we have all heard of the things that people do to gain popularity and power. When someone is obsessed with winning the affection of many people, they have very little time for anything else. Countless hours are spent in front of the mirror and reading tips on how to be the “one.” The more we are focused on such image, the more spiritually restless we become. In this journey we find little interior peace.
Paul tells the Colossian Church to “set their minds on things above.” The Abba says to restrain from our need for popularity. Both of these sayings are directed toward our ability to achieve peace with God. There can be no peace when we are frantically busy trying to be noticed. The only true peace is inner peace – the peace that allows us to thrive in a hostile world. Being at peace with ourselves is the most vital part of our relationship with God. Without the selfless interior peace, we remain spiritually empty.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs that charm is deceitful and beauty is vain. Think about it, the wisest man that ever lived called charm deceitful and beauty vain. Shouldn’t that say something to us in our image conscious world? Our real challenge is to remain focused on the things that are above and to take our eyes off of the crowd that we seek to gather and keep them on our spiritual journey. That focus will help us to achieve the interior peace that is so necessary to walk with God.
O Lord allow me this day to focus on the interior peace that only you can give. Suffer me the strength to resist the temptation of self aggrandizement and carry me to a place of peace. Amen
Filed under Christian Journey, Desert Fathers
Tagged as Ancient Greek philosophy, Anger, Athens, Attention, Authorized King James Version, Book of Proverbs, David, Desert Monks, God, Solomon, Twitter
February 24, 2015 · 8:55 am
Our fourth struggle is against the demon of anger. We must, with God’s help, eradicate his deadly poison from the depths of our souls. So long as he dwells in our hearts and blinds the eyes of the heart with his somber disorders, we can neither discriminate what is for our good, nor achieve spiritual knowledge, nor fulfill our good intentions, nor participate in true life; and our intellect will remain impervious to the contemplation of the true, divine light; for it is written, “For my eye is troubled because of anger”
Getting angry can sometimes be like jumping into a muscle car, gunning the motor, taking off with the peddle to the metal and discovering you have no brakes. Very shortly we are in a great deal of trouble. Anger is our greatest enemy. It is the deadly poison that starts wars, leads to murder, breaks relationships, and keeps us separated from God. Our world would be so different if we could truly learn to bridle our anger.
The wise monk calls anger a demon. That reference puts this emotion in a very different light. Anger is elevated from a bad habit to a spiritual failure. Habits, good or bad, are conquered by discipline and training. Demons are conquered by prayer and supplication. Perhaps it is time we admit that we do not control our anger, but rather, it controls us. With that confession in hand, we can humbly approach God and ask for healing.
Lord deliver us this day from the deadly poison of anger. Amen
January 22, 2015 · 12:08 pm
Jesus our peace, if our lips keep silence, our heart listens to you and also speaks to you. And you say to each one of us: surrender yourself in all simplicity to the life of the Holy Spirit; and with that surrender we may know you in a superlative way. Lord help me to observe a sacred silence. AMEN
Filed under Prayer, Silence
Tagged as Anger, Bethlehem, Bible, Centering Prayer, Christ, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, sacred silence, Sermon, Silence
September 20, 2013 · 8:00 am
August 14, 2013 · 12:56 pm
A disciple of Abba Anthony said, ‘If anyone wants to drive out the demons, he must first subdue the passions; for he will banish the demon of the passion which he has mastered. For example, the devil accompanies anger; so if you control your anger, the devil of anger will be banished. And so it is with each of these passions.’
——–Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Self-control and overcoming the negative forces and habits that drive each of us is a worthy goal. The wise old man attributes every problem very directly to a “demon.” We do not share such a view of good and evil. We do, however, need to acknowledge the presence of supernatural evil in our world. That being said, I want to concentrate on the positive advice of the saying.
Passion is the root of both good and evil. Learn to reap your positive passions, and subdue your negative (sins) ones and you will be on your way to a life of the Spirit. We are advised to master the passions that lead us away from God and our neighbor, thus banishing that obstacle of spiritual attainment from our lives. May each of us take this to heart, and make it a matter of fervent prayer.
Filed under Antony of Egypt, Ascetics, Desert Fathers, Evil, Mystics
Tagged as Abba, Anger, Apophthegmata Patrum, Demon, Evil, God, Good and evil, Religion and Spirituality