Leadership, Sermon, Monasticism, Abba Poeman, Esau, Jacob, Genesis 32:3-31, Reconciliation, Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Deliver Me From The Hand Of My Brother – A Sermon On Genesis 32:3-31

We all have an Esau. Individuals, communities, parishes, religious orders, nations, you, and me – we all have an Esau. I am not talking about a literal Esau but a symbolic and metaphorical Esau. That does not mean, however, that Esau is not real. He is absolutely real. Esau is the face of our past guilts and regrets. Esau is the temptation to believe that we are not enough and we need to be someone or something else. Esau is our fear of the future. Esau is the one with whom we wrestle in the depths of our soul to discover our true name and identity, and to find the blessing that is uniquely ours.

Judging and Sentencing

One day, Abba Isaac the Theban went to a monastic community and he saw a brother doing wrong, and he condemned him. As he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell and said: “I will not let you in.”  He asked: “What’s the…

Interruptions

“A brother came and stayed with a certain solitary and when he was leaving he said: ‘Forgive me, Father, for I have broken in upon your Rule.’ But the hermit replied, saying: ‘My Rule is to receive you with hospitality and to let you go in peace.’” – Thomas Merton, The Wisdom of the Desert,…

Abba Poeman on Silence

Abba Poeman said… A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent; that is, he says nothing that is not profitable. (p. 171) If you are silent, you will…