To Live in Wonder

Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything – St. Gregory of Nyssa

St. Gregory’s marvelous dictum is among a handful of things that describe what is required for the Christian life. So much of Christian history has been marked with a bifurcation – a split between those who study the faith and those who live it. It is not a necessary split – only a common one. Of course there is the larger number of Christians who do neither.

But wonder is an essential attitude of heart – without it – we will see nothing as it truly is.

The Scriptures tell us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – which also means that other human beings should be approached with awe and wonder. We will not see them nor love them as we ought if our heart is dwelling in some other mode.

I tend to see wonder in two particular places – in children and in those of older years. My own children have always been a revelation of the world about me – a chance to see the world as though for the first time. To watch the wonder of a child beset with the jaded cynicism of our culture is surely to see one of the most crucial battles of our age. Cynicism is generally always correct, but it lacks the wonder that alone would reveal its error.

The wonder of older years has been something of a new revelation for me – if only because I barely qualify for “older years.” I will turn 57 later this year. But I have been around long enough to see my last child enter college. I have been blessed with 34 years of marriage. With those years comes an increasing sense of wonder at how things have worked together to be what they are. I am less impressed with my choices and the power to choose. Rather I am overwhelmed at the good that has come to me that I did not know to choose (and it came unbidden). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS VIA SKYPE (3)

KnjgaOtac

Continued from (2)

Virtual family

I will tell you again about one of my personal experiences. At some point of time Father told me: ‘Connect to Skype.” I did not know whether he was speaking metaphorically, “skaj” as heavens in English, so that I would pay more attention to heavenly things and spiritual way of living, or he was talking about the Skype program. So I asked him and got the answer to connect to Skype program. Then I notice that, for example, my phone bill is much lower. I can see that Father gives me some advices to make my life easier. That is how I got familiar with the Skype, which did not interest me previously; I was more interested in a writing program, and the things that I work on. This is only a small example of how Father helps people by making their spiritual and practical sides of life easier.

Question: In this book Father Gabriel often mentions the virtual family, which connects all people who communicate to him into one, no matter where they are. Therefore, now we could talk about the two aspects that this book reveals. One aspect is the assembly, the collectiveness since many people met thanks to the web-site of the Monastery Lepavina and thanks to the effort of Father Gabriel. Many people virtually met this way, and now many collaborate, comfort each other, and communicate to each other. The second aspect, which we can talk about, would represent the positive characteristics and the mission, if we can call it so, of computers in spiritual life. Father Gabriel once said that young people, who are frightened by computers, do not want to work on computers and are afraid in some way, contact him. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

SPIRITUAL CONVERSATIONS VIA SKYPE (2)

KnjgaOtacAbout Christian deed

Question: the Lord’s ways are truly miraculous. It is miraculous how Father Gabriel got a computer, without knowing how to use it, then how he learned to use it flawlessly because sometimes it seems like he knows more then those who learn about computers in schools. After he mastered the technology, Father started the missionary work which branched out, and this way he induced happiness in many people who now could, from anywhere in the world, communicate with the Father. I think that communication via internet, love for the God, love for fellow beings, and spreading of the Word of God represent the exact and essential value of this book. How would you present this book to the people who did not have an opportunity to communicate with Father Gabriel via internet?

Answer: As far as I understand, as a spiritual child and as someone who met Father Gabriel, his spiritual work has always been very meaningful; it has been polyvalent, and one can always look at his work from many different angles. His work has always been founded in Christian deed and strictness in his personal life. So, in his life he testifies the strictness of norms, and now suddenly from that strictness, from that one source and an internal focus, comes out his effort which reflects itself in his work via internet.

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