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Author Topic: Week 1 - Pages ix -48 (Chapters (Part 1) The Path to the Holy Mountain, The Holy  (Read 1758 times) Average Rating: 0
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quietmorning
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« on: June 05, 2011, 10:01:33 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 10:09:15 PM »

The Elder Porphyrios' (then Evangelos) entrance into the Holy Mountain left his family without his support, leaving the commandment to honor your father and mother undone:  

Was there a wrong committed?  

What insight would you give to someone who cannot, yet see God's providence in this situation?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 10:12:07 PM by quietmorning » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 10:10:58 PM »

What was example can you take from the first three chapters of Elder Porphyrios' life to bring you closer to Christ?
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 09:12:23 PM »

The Elder Porphyrios' (then Evangelos) entrance into the Holy Mountain left his family without his support, leaving the commandment to honor your father and mother undone: 

Was there a wrong committed? 

What insight would you give to someone who cannot, yet see God's providence in this situation?

You know, I really struggled with the fact that he simply left his family without letting them know where he was going. But he was already separated from his family at a young age, so the effect is somewhat mitigated. I don't know that he left his family entirely without support. 

I think we have to take into account the unusual pull that the Elder had at a very young age. I wish he was more exact about his age during the accounts.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 04:57:14 PM »

The Elder Porphyrios' (then Evangelos) entrance into the Holy Mountain left his family without his support, leaving the commandment to honor your father and mother undone: 
I think we have to take into account the unusual pull that the Elder had at a very young age. I wish he was more exact about his age during the accounts.

This was my take as well.  It wasn't as if he thoughtlessly made the decision, as he struggled with the separation.  It seems as if he was called to this life by God.  When, then do we choose God's will over potentially violating a commandment?  Perhaps his decision ultimately honored his parents.
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 05:13:10 PM »

It's pretty clear that obedience played a crucial role in Elder Porphyrios' development.  As opposed to most of us, he was living a monastic life, under the strict guidance of Elders.  How then are we to apply this to our lives?

Certainly following our prescribed prayer rule, regularly confessing, attending services and such, but Elder Porphyrios spoke to a much more thorough understanding.

I find this speaks to a larger issue, which is that of trying to understand the role of Spiritual father/mother within a non-monastic context.  Many on this forum seem quick to apply the title to our confessor, but I'm not sure it's that easy.
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 04:35:14 PM »

The Elder Porphyrios' (then Evangelos) entrance into the Holy Mountain left his family without his support, leaving the commandment to honor your father and mother undone:  

Was there a wrong committed?  

What insight would you give to someone who cannot, yet see God's providence in this situation?

I really had a hard time at first, and really judged the actions of the Monk who took him in - but decided to try not to judge and pray about it. 

Basically, from the time he was young, he was a man - sent out to fend for himself.  It never says that he sent any money home - I wonder if it was just basic survival for himself and himself alone.  In any case, I am not of the culture nor did I suffer the hardships his family did.  The definitions of what is the proper way to raise a family in this age and even a generation ago are completely different from what they were a hundred years ago.

He did honor his parents by praying for them.  I think this is a time where I was guilty in thinking, 'well *hands on hips* that's all they did when they could probably needed his help. . .

Prayer - he prayed. . .He gave his parents to the God of all - THE inheritance. . . THE all in all. . .if one has Him who Is, doesn't he have everything?  And I would discount his prayers in a heartbeat in looking at this through the eyes of someone who only sees the poverty.  They became exceedingly rich the minute he took his oaths as a monk. 

I can be short sighted forgetting to look at the eternal picture and instead, concentrate on the picture of how their hearts must have been broken over losing their son.  They lost their son. . .they gained a warrior who would fight for them for eternity. 

So. . .when I think about this, and wow. . .this was something huge for me to get a hold of and bit on. . .had to chew on it for a while. . . and pray about it for a while.  It never ceases to amaze me how I, in my flesh am so utterly blind, though it shouldn't. . . heh.  I guess I'm often blind to being blind.  *smirk*

The thing that opened the door to this train of thought was the fact that he was off on his own providing for himself.  His parents were still his parents, yet even though he was a child, he was emancipated . . .a man and in so being - called to make a very grown up man's decision. 

And The Lord not only opened a door that appeared for all practical purposed to be 'sealed' (He has a way of doing that, doesn't He?!)  but He actually took child up in His arms and carried him through the 'sealed' door.

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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 06:49:41 AM »

What was example can you take from the first three chapters of Elder Porphyrios' life to bring you closer to Christ?

When I read the first three chapters I was so humbled!  I finally understood what it is to be wounded by love, and can see it in my life over and over again for my good - for my benefit. . .for the hope in each instance that I would cling to Him who loves me more than I could ever love Him. 

It takes the victim stance completely out of being a victim, it does. . .as every slight, every insult, every humiliation brings me closer to being . . . small.  Small enough to go through the narrow door?  I hope, maybe one day. . .through and in His grace. 

The first three chapters was a wonderful example of this for me.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2011, 11:24:11 AM »

Didn't care for it much. Rings too sentimental and reads too purple.

A bit of interest was the second to last paragraph of the end of the reading assignment. A nice summation of the Christian attitude toward suffering.

Also, his use of the word eros.

Hope the next bit is a little less enthusiastic in tone.


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