week three & four
A big thank you for all who attended the short course: 'Desert Community the prescription to city aloneness'. We hope you enjoyed the talks and hope to see you again. By popular demand....
The 12 steps (rungs) in desert spirituality For healing to occur we need to do certain things, at least from our Tradition.
step i - Realising a loss of vision. Brokenness, fragmentation, powerless, surrender, honesty.
In the beginning we were created with an undivided brain, heart and all are actions were united. Come to terms and be honest about your life, your brokenness, your vision (or lack of), your fragmentation...Am I sick? Yes, and you stink!
step ii - Only God can. God comes through wounds. I am powerless. Involves a decision to let God in our lives (therefore: hope, faith & love). "Brokenness is everywhere, but so is endurance, and so is the help of God".
step iii - Reality/ Realisation - us & the world. Therefore no despair.
"Seeing yourself as you are is a greater miracle than raising the dead." St Isaac What is your reality? Say yes to your life and all that you have been dealt with. "What is truth?" (John 18:38) "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Jesus Christ (John 14:6)
step iv - Community, church, liturgy, relationship - not alone.
Where can I take part in community? In the divine liturgy - the biography of Jesus Christ. When I am sick, I go to hospital. God's house (the Church) is the hospital.
Seek a spiritual father or mother, so that one person knows everything that is about you (the good and the bad).
step v - Internal self-examination (prodigal son pig pen). An inner transformation. Free will, choice, desire, will, courage, searching, seeking, struggle, wounds, repentance, tears, peace with ourselves.
Am I like the prodigal son in the pig pen? What are the obstacles you place between you and God? Rise, get rid of the dirt and shine!
step vi - Internal curing/ healing. Inner transformation. Αναστα! You need to talk - so that you can be internally healed. What happens to wounds that are opened? "He who confesses pain is nearer to health. He who doesn't is nearer to hell." St Isaac
step vii - Allowing God to act: He grants, gives, bestows, trust. Allowing God to redirect - healing is the presence of God inside us. Trust in Him. I can't. He can. And I will let Him.
step viii - Allowing God to heal: ourselves/ society - therefore making amends with others. With God's Grace I can change and anything in my way.
step ix - Discernment - to know, wisdom. Examine, guard, watch and be alert - of all your movements, thoughts, feelings and words. It's a gift. Pray for it.
step x - Contemplation, prayer, stillness, meditation. Take time out for oneself, be still...and pray (remember Him). Prayer is a mirror, measure and proof of everything. "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me a sinner." "Lord have mercy." "Lord!"
step xi - Action (faith/ works) maintaining ministry. Συνεργεια/ co-operation. Real faith is shown in action. Prayer leads and faith is shown in action. Live in faith, hope and most of love. We are not static - we are different to who we were yesterday. (Thank you Jesus!)
step xii - Mystery of the prosopon. Adopt humanity, be human and do all things in reference to God. Our relationship with God is expressed in our baptismal grace and the prayers once said upon us.
Books... Holy Baptism - Service book by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Available from the Archdiocese book store (firstname.lastname@example.org).
the 13th step.. 'I Love, Therefore I am: The Theological Legacy Of Archmandrite Sophrony'- by Nicholas V. Sakharov If you have a yahoo account you can log into google books and view pages from the book here. Bookstore availabilities: Booktopia, Crossroad Books or The Nile Bookstore.
from week three... 'The Panarion Of Epiphanius Of Salamis' Books I, II & III- Brill Publishing These are the books that were kindly brought in and shown to us. Epiphanius of Salamis was the first to introduce the term "Orthodoxy" and his writings were against the heresies of the church. Look them up at your library and if possible have a browse through. Otherwise you can view pages in your google account here.