Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Father Robert Baron
Remembering and rehearsing the wrong-doing and sins of others helps us to feel morally superior.  We hug that resentment close to us and it slowly strangles our soul.  I've been angry for a variety of reasons at a variety of people and have truly struggled with the concept of forgiveness in the face of that anger.  Yesterday I heard Father Robert Baron give a homily podcast on anger.  This homily is inspired by the scripture readings of the Roman Catholic Church last Sunday and its coincidence with the 10th Anniversary of September 11.

Forgiveness means that you never give up on a person.  You want what is best for them, you want them redeemed.  You don't have to seethe with hatred and wish for vengance.  I was so stoked by this homily.

Anger and forgiveness have a lot to do with weight loss.  There was a popular self-help book in the 90s called "It's not what you're eating, it's what's eating you."   Spiritual sickness tends to manifest itself on our bodies.  We smoke, drink coffee, have a beer or two, and scream at people on the highway.  Fat people eat!  They eat their anger and suppress it, well at least I have.  I have not thought anger, disappointment, or frustration to be appropriate for "a young lady" or "a Christian," so I've ignored the anger and eaten something to make myself feel better with a  shot of serotonin in the form of something tasty.

The problem with self-help books is that their ideas tend to flame out when we try them.  We try meditation and relaxation for a while, but we go back to old habits.  The cool thing about living the Ancient faith of Orthodoxy is that falling off the wagon is built in.  Confession works hand-in-hand with the rhythm of the liturgical year.  Fasting, feasting, preparing, preparing to prepare preparing, and remembering are all done with food and exercise in mind.  There's even the practice of liturgical squat-thrusts in the form of full metanias during the prayers of Saint Ephraim during Great Lent!  Here is a Canadian monk discussing the prayer.  After each phrase of the prayer, a full prostration is performed.  This prostration is like a very slow squat-thrust (cross yourself, bow to your knees, get on all fours, place forehead on the ground.)  The prayer of Saint Ephraim is said several times in each service during Great Lent.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you tie it all together with your faith.

    You know, I don't believe in the same spirituality you do, not as a practicing religious person, but Christianity is so important to so many of my friends, that it has to be important to me too.