Monday, June 15, 2009

Attentiveness

To grasp the truth in the teachings of Scripture and our Church Fathers requires a calm and silent mind says, Basil the Great.

God who created us has given us the use of language, that we may reveal the plans of our heart to each other... Accordingly, since when our thought takes meaningful voice, as if carried in a ferry by our discourse, crossing the air it passes from the speaker to the hearer; and if it finds the sea calm and quiet, the discourse comes to anchor in the ears of the students as if in a tranquil harbors untroubled by storms; but if as a kind of rough upsurge the clamor of the hearers blows adversely, it will be dissolved as it is shipwrecked in the air. Therefore make it calm for the discourse through silence.... The word of truth is hard to catch.

1 comment:

  1. I really appriciate this. I was just talking with my spiritual father on the phone last night about Fr Meletios Webber. One of the things that stands out to me is his ability to calm the reader, to assist in quieting the clamor that some of what he's saying might ordinarily cause.

    This is in strong juxtaposition to the typical rhetorical pattern of creating conflict, and thereby drama and interest in the reader, to propel them forward to your resolution. This, while fine Aristotelian storytelling and the basis of modern entertainment, is bad form for pastoral work.

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