Friday, April 09, 2010

Elder Joseph the Hesychast on Negligence

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!

Salt of the Earth's Andrew always digs deep finding rich treasures of spiritual insight. His is one of my daily stops during my "blog review" period.

For Wednesday of this week which, of course, was Wednesday of Bright Week, and for Traditional Orthodox also the Feast of the Annunciation, Andrew offered a most beautifully and timely quote from the blessed Elder Joseph the Hesychast on the topic of negligence.

Blessed Elder Joseph was a giant of the twentieth century revival in Athonite Spirituality. The sanctity of his personhood not only deeply affected those who have read his writings, but profoundly touched those privileged to know him personally such that one can see it when encountering them.

Below is the quote Andrew has from the Elder:
Self-esteem corrupts treasures that have been amassed, while negligence does not even let you collect them. Negligence is like a drought in which nothing grows. Self-esteem damages those that have fruit, who have made some progress; whereas negligence harms everyone, because it impedes those who want to make a start, it stops those who have advanced, it does not allow the ignorant to learn, it prevents those who have gone astray from returning, it does not permit the fallen to get up – in general, negligence spells destruction for all those it holds captive.

* This excerpt is from “Elder Joseph the Hesychast: Struggles, Experiences, Teachings” by Elder Joseph of Vatopedi
For the Traditional Orthodox celebrating the Annunciation, this quote is timely in that it highlights by contrast the holiness of the Theotokos who lived her life in humility and obedience to the Lord, exercising her will in synergy with the Incarnation.

For everyone celebrating Bright Week it also reminds us that we, too, live life fully only when we find the fullness of our personhood in the Risen Lord. Self-esteem is always harmful in that it is founded on a false appraisal of our worth. Only righteous humility in the Divine Light of Christ's great mercy allows us to truly see ourselves as we are. Only humble obedience frees us from slavery to an impoverished and corrupt life that already reeks of death. In the light of the Resurrection we discover true life, self-worth, and eternal joy.

Read over again the Blessed Elder's insight and let it sink in. If we are all lucky, it will sink into the hearts of each of us bringing us closer to the Most Holy Trinity and the image and likeness we were created to possess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your kind words as always, Father.

I always find it interesting that the posts I question the most before putting up, end up being the ones people like the most!

Please keep me in your prayers, Father, as you are always in mine.

In Christ,