In this lesson we continue to focus on the devotions and spirituality appropriate for the beginning of Lent.
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Lent is upon us! This time of penance is adequately supported by the Gospel reading for today: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). Striving forth, let us seek to live in simplicity and humility, like Blessed Giles, especially during this season. Let us continue to read from Chapter 4: Discipline of the Senses in “Practical Spirituality” by Hegomen Athanasius Iskander:
DISCIPLINE OF THE TONGUE:
The sense of taste has to be trained so that it does not dictate what one eats at all times. To have a liking for gourmet food all the time, and conversely, to have a disliking for humble foods is not the way of spiritual perfection. Remember our Mother Eve, one bite into the forbidden food had such a disastrous outcome. Amos 6:4 tells us, “Woe unto them who lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall.” Here it is not the food that is to blame but the life style.
Remember also the rich man, who “fared sumptuously every day.” (Luke 16:19) Emphasize the word everyday, for it is not a sin to eat delicious food once in a while, for example on feasts and when we have guests. For even the Father of the Prodigal sun ordered them to “bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry.” (Luke 15:23) Even the Fathers of the desert broke their austere diet of dry bread, salt and water whenever they had a guest. They really splurged then; the master would tell his disciple, boil us a few lentils for the sake of the guest!
St. Paul tells us, “every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Phil 4:12) That means that I can enjoy a good meal but I can also endure hunger. I eat delicious food sometimes but I also eat humble food when I have to, for example during fasting. Train your taste buds to be content with whatever food there is.
OTHER SINS OF THE TONGUE:
The tongue is not only the organ of taste, it is also the organ of speech. We are all familiar with the sins of speech, like swearing, lying, gossiping and taking the name of the Lord in vain, and I am sure that we all confess about these sins and get the proper advise from our Father ... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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