Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Weathering a Flood of Emotions

An incident today afternoon triggered within me a deluge of emotions I hadn't experienced since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon earlier this year. My hands are left shivering in the wake of this outpour. That is perhaps, the most visible sign of such a sensation - I am not one to display my emotions openly, be they anger, disappointment, frustration, grief, ecstasy, anguish, indignation... well, I can be quite flexible when being indignant.

The incident will not be elaborated upon for I wish to keep it within myself and trusted ears only. However, I am sure most readers can empathise with such an incident - one that triggers numerous emotions all at once. At times such as this, I delve yet again into the wisdom of the desert fathers. I have read certain portions of The Sayings of the Desert Fathers many times, but they never fail to astound me. Here are three passages that have been especially comforting at this time:

Abba John taught, if a king wishes to subdue a city belonging to enemies, he first of all keeps them without bread and water, and the enemy harassed by hunger, surrenders; so it is in respect of the hostile passions, for if a man endures fasting and hunger , his enemies become stricken with weakness in the soul.

A brother asked Abba Poemen, "What does it mean to get angry at one's brother without cause?" And he replied, "When your brother attacks you, whatever the insults are, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Even if he were to pull out your right eye, and to cut off your right hand, if you get angry at him, you are getting angry without cause. Yet if he were to try to take you away from God, then get angry!"

It is told that a thought came to a monk, "Rest today and you can do penance tomorrow". He replied, "No, I will do penance today and rest tomorrow".

I'm including three gems on humility by Abba Dorotheos, for they never fail to speak to you under any circumstances:

Before anything else we need humility.

Courage stands in the middle between cowardice and foolhardiness; humility in the middle between arrogance and servility. Modesty is a mean between timidity and boldness.

Humility protects the soul from all the passions and also from every temptation.


Blogger Mimi said...

I can sympthasize and you have my prayers.

Thu Oct 12, 01:21:00 am 2006  

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