everything but the needful . . .

The last few weeks I’ve been reading Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, and last night this passage hit me as a warning to Orthodox Christians participating in the so-called blogosphere:

In The Orthodox Word, Fr. Seraphim wrote:

“Christianity in practice, and monasticism above all, is a matter of staying in one place and struggling with all one’s heart for the Kingdom of Heaven. One may be called to do the work of God elsewhere, or may be moved about by unavoidable circumstances; but without the basic and profound desire to endure everything for God in one place without running away, one will scarcely be able to put down the roots required in order to bring forth spiritual fruits. Unfortunately, with the ease of modern communications one may even sit in one spot and still concern oneself with everything but the one thing needful–with everyone else’s business, with all the church gossip, and not with the concentrated labor needed to save one’s soul in this evil world.”

Father Serpahim Rose: His Life and Works, pg. 459.

I’m pretty sure that Fr. Seraphim would argue that “staying in one place” occurs after coming into the fullness of the Church, for it is the Church in which we are all called to fully take part.

I know that I, for one, have a terrible time not sitting in one spot and concerning myself “with everything but the one thing needful.” Far too often I give in to the worldly temptation of distraction, even to the point of choosing to talk about and read about the spiritual life rather than doing the spiritual life. Lord, have mercy.

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