Friday in the Sixth Week of Easter

Jesus is stressing that His disciples are now going to be living with a purpose. The purpose won’t be as available to the senses as those of people of the world. While they rejoice we will weep, but the weeping will turn into unending joy.

Evagrius Ponticus stressed how important thoughts are to a monk’s spiritual development.  A sense of purpose organizes aimless, drifting thoughts toward a desired destination.  The eight types of thoughts he warned about are those aimless, drifting thoughts that usually have passing, self-centered ideas as their objects. They bring short-term satisfactions that can be lost.

As our veteran monks know, the promises of Christ often lead to long periods of lethargy, but that does not have the last word. It is that purpose of Christ, that dedication of self that gave power to thought of Him and let it prevail. It gave our thought-life focus and concentration on that which is pervasive, enduring and deep. It turns obstacles into stepping-stones and builds character. But self-cultivation is not the purpose; the purpose is union with Him. God’s happiness becomes more important than one’s own.