Daily homily thoughts, 2/16

From the RULE OF ST BENEDICT

Chapter 49: The Observance of Lent
1 The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent. 2 Since few, however, have the strength for this, we urge the entire community during these days of Lent to keep its manner of life most pure 3 and to wash away in this holy season the negligences of other times. 4 This we can do in a fitting manner by refusing to indulge evil habits and by devoting ourselves to prayer with tears, to reading, to compunction of heart and self-denial. 5 During these days, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food or drink, 6 so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess 1:6). 7 In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jesting, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing. 8 Everyone should, however, make known to the abbot what he intends to do, since it ought to be done with his prayer and approval. 9 Whatever is undertaken without the permission of the spiritual father will be reckoned as presumption and vainglory, not deserving a reward. 10 Therefore, everything must be done with the abbot’s approval.

Daily homily thoughts, 2/15

Be glad then that you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you. A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring. So let this spring quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring. For if you can satisfy your thirst without exhausting the spring, then when you thirst again you can drink from it once more; but if when your thirst is sated the spring is also dried up, then your victory would turn to your own harm. -From a commentary on the Diatessaron by Saint Ephrem, deacon