Turning from the family to the Church, priests are responsible for discerning and fostering the vocation of their parishioners and bishops for the members of the diocese. For the spiritual father this is a catastrophe, because he has intruded upon a realm where he has neither the right nor the experience to intrude. I do not write these things to shame you: Paul has been pretty rough on the Corinthians in this chapter. He was responsible to warn them, exhort them, set an example for them, and discipline them. 5:22-24; 1 Cor. Spiritual fathers set a good example through their own life. All comments will be read by the editors of, Bishop Pitirim of Dushanbe and Tadjikistan, So that shows the evolution from humanism to satanism. The Bible teaches us that we should exhort one another day after day so that none are hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb.3:13). In fact, we are also taught that when we meet together as a church it is for the purpose of exhorting one another (Heb.10:25). If discipling is waking up to one's identity and role in the Kingdom of God, then a spiritual father is the one who often does the rousing. If you read the lives of the saints you will see how great elders were able to do this, how they were able to be themselves, but also see in another person his exclusive, inimitable qualities, and to give that person—and another, or a third person—the opportunity to also be himself and not a replica of an elder; or in the worse case, a cookie-cutter repeat. A father will nurture and protect a son. We can all dream of becoming geniuses, but we know perfectly well that Beethoven or Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci or Andrei Rublev possessed genius that cannot be learned in any school, not even through long experience, and which is a divine gift of grace. I have also had a great spiritual father, pastor and apostle Richard C. Benjamin, of Anchorage, Alaska. Just recently we visited a dear friend in Tennessee. Just the same, it seems to me that in speaking of spirituality, we have to remember that spirituality consists in what the movement of the Holy Spirit works in us, and what we usually call spirituality is the manifestation of this mysterious movement of the Holy Spirit. Therefore I exhort you: The word exhort means “to urge to a course of action.” That which Paul was urging them to do was to follow his example. However, the ascetics of piety did all this out of their spiritual experience, and not because they were trained animals. This also requires that both have humility. Under Christ, the father is the spiritual head of the home (cf. He was not prompted by bitterness to write as he had, but by love. The role of a spiritual father does not consist in this, but rather in the fact that regardless of his spiritual level, the spiritual father must pay sharp attention to what the Holy Spirit is bringing to pass in a person and enable this process, protect him from temptations, falls, or wavering in his faith. Thus, if a spiritual father is incapable of seeing this eternal beauty in a person, to see the beginning of the process of fulfilling his call to become a God-man in the image of Christ, then he is not capable of leading him, for people are not built or made. If not checked, it would result in schisms in the body of Christ. Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 | There is great danger lurking for a young, inexperienced priest, just graduated from seminary full of enthusiasm and hope, who imagines that ordination has given him intelligence, experience, and “discernment of spirits”, and then becomes what in ascetical literature is called a “young elder”. Take an example from the history of the Russian Church, the meeting of Saints Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves. God has called us to be His emissaries on earth, and He sends us into places of darkness in order to be a light; into places of hopelessness in order to bring hope; into places where joy has died in order to be a joy; and so on. One might ask, how could St. Anthony prepare Theodosius to do what he himself would not do, to become a man that he himself did not want to be, to fulfill a divine calling entirely different from his own? From the sky it receives scorching heat, the sun’s rays, rain, and dew. But my God lives; and he has my heart. Thank you Jesus this information is very important, we need also to teach others. It lies there in silence, open, defenseless, vulnerable before the face of the sky. Love for their souls, and a desire that they would prosper spiritually. This is an institutional view. Continuing in the series, "The 8 Stages of Spiritual Maturation" Be imitators of me: In context, this must refer back to Paul’s description of himself and his ministry in 4:8-13. He would not hesitate to rebuke, or administer church discipline if necessary. Before describing the qualities of a spiritual father, it is necessary to discuss the indispensable role of asceticism and hesychasm in the life of the church and of the spiritual father himself. Pursue joy in the Lord and persist in thanksgiving to God for all His good gifts (James 1:17). The ladies gather every other Thursday evening at 7:00 for bible study. A person cannot learn how to be an elder no more than he can choose to be a genius. He may exhort his son to keep his room clean, use his manners with guests, or be respectful toward adults. In this section he changes metaphors again, and refers to himself as a spiritual father. This is very important, because obedience does not mean blindly doing what someone who has either material-physical or emotional-spiritual authority over us says. Likewise, if you are a spiritual father or mother to someone, you need to warn them of the dangers that they may not see. Or, are they just a lot of hot air? The Lord has done it. Metropolitan Anthony of SourozhTranslation by OrthoChristian.com. He is coming to them soon, if the Lord wills, and when he does he will find out if there is any divine power behind all their words. Now, what do you think prompted these warnings? We must do whatever is necessary to change their course and help them amend their ways. ", Saints. I would probably tell them that someone can’t be their spiritual parent without spending a lot of time with them face to face. If you are interested, contact us at 916-304-3014. We yell, yanking them out of comfort zones. 'S privilege a key difference in the electing love of God ’ s doctrine, they. 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