Rowan Williams is simply incapable of writing a bad word. I feel scoured by the way he presents the wisdom of the desert fathers. I want to record here some quotes from the book as much to help me remember as to share.
Life, Death and Neighbours
… the facts of human life together are normally so messy, so unpromising and unedifying … spirituality — the cultivation of sensitive and rewarding relationship with eternal truth and love … simply doesn’t happen unless we mend our relations with Tom, Dick and Harriet. p.22
‘The monk … must die to his neighbour and never judge him at all in any way whatever.’ If our life and our death are with the neighbour, this spells out something of what our ‘death’ to the neighbour might mean: it is to renounce the power of judgment over someone else — a task hard enough indeed to merit being described as death. p.24
I must die to myself, a self understood as the solid possessor of virtues and gifts, entitled to pronounce on the neighbour’s spiritual condition. My own awareness of my failure and weakness indispensable to my communicating the gospel to my neighbour. p.24-5
To be continued …