Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attentiveness and God


Continuing our discussion of Saint Basil’s homily on attentiveness…

When we learn to be attentive to our inner nature we also discover that we are a “small ordered world,” from which we can see the wisdom of our creator. We can learn that like God who is incorporeal and not contained by any space, and the same is true of our mind or soul. As we examen this inner nature we gain insight into the large cosmos.
You may believe that God cannot be understood by your soul because it is invisible. But, God is recognizable by His energies. Therefore do not think about knowing God through your eyes or any of your senses, but only through “supporting faith through reason.”

Saint Basil writes,
Marvel at the Creator's work, how the power of your soul has been bound together with the body, so that penetrating to its extremities it leads the many separate limbs and organs to one convergence and sharing of life. Examine what power from the soul is given to the flesh, what sympathy is given back to the soul by the flesh; how the body receives life from the soul, and the soul receives pain from the body. Examine where you have stored away the things you have learned; why the addition of things that have come later does not overshadow the knowledge of things retained, but without confusion you keep your memories distinct, inscribed on the directive faculty of the soul as if on a bronze slab, guarded closely. Examine how as the soul slips gradually toward the passions of the flesh its own beauty is destroyed; and how again cleansed from the shame of evil, through virtue it ascends quickly toward the likeness of the Creator.”

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