Never give shape to the divine as such when you pray, nor allow your mind to be imprinted by any form, but go immaterial to the Immaterial and you will understand.

Evagrius Ponticus, Monk

+ + +

Evagrius was a contemporary of monk and Bishop Basil the Great.  His above words go right to the heart of the spiritual journey.  His view is that we dissolve from mortal life to that which we are, namely: of the Spirit and, in that, are united with God in an eternal reality.

His words survive to this day, and give us reason to pause and think: is this not me as well?  Do I not seek this unity?  Does by discontent not say this to me?

For Evagrius the spiritual journey begins with an inner exploration amid a life of struggles and torments destined to end in serenity, peace and contentment in which we are at one with the Master, settled in the Spirit.

There is, I propose, by nature something of the monk in all of us for we face, like it of not, trials and heartache as part of living and in this condition we know discontent, the struggle with ourselves and our passions, desires teetering between revenge and reception, between community and isolation.

Evagrius, like other monks, pursued a disciplined life with daily routine, daily prayer and recitation of Psalms, meditation on Scriptures, physical challenges. His life, like that of other monks, had a detached state to it.  Yet, not a complete withdrawal – more a space for a sacred existence, time to focus on what is eternal – what is real.

For many of you and for your friends, family members and colleagues you will see discontent and the trials you and they face.  In these experiences there is God waiting to comfort and be known.  Space and time like that of a monk is required.  Create that space, and come to that comfort, the only comfort that one ultimately has.

Let the monk in you come to be.

Shalom.

Advertisements