June 13, 2015
Sunday of the Synaxis of the Fathers of Mt. Athos
The meter of asceticism is philanthropy
Once, thoughts came to a monastic brotherhood that they were way ahead in virtue from other monks because they fasted more and had longer services.
An older elder had this to say about this issue:
“Do not talk to me about how much they fast or how long their services last. Something else concerns me. Can one of those brothers, even the most “advanced”, understand the present-day weary person? Can he comfort the pain-stricken? Can he free the person who has been trapped in the craftiness of the devil? If he can do this, if he can relieve his brother and make him love life, be joyful and be thankful to God, then this will show that the monk has indeed advanced spiritually."
The ascetic tradition of the Church is philanthropy. It measures everything with the meter of love, with the catholic salvation of all and not with the fantasized “placement” of each person separately.