Friday, July 29, 2011

Quote of the Day: Fr. Tryphon (Parsons) of Vashon

When in my mid-20s I decided to take up weightlifting and joined a traditional Italian family-owned weightlifting gym. On my first trip to the gym I clearly remember standing there, feeling intimidated by all the equipment and not knowing where to begin. After observing my feeble attempt at lifting a weight that was too heavy for a beginner, a professional weightlifter came over and offered to guide me in the use of the weights.

There was another young first timer, but he was too proud to let anyone tell him what to do. I, however, agreed to let the pro teach me. A year later this pro came over, complemented me on my progress, and quietly pointed out the odd shape of the other young man, the one who'd been too proud to allow someone else to tell him anything. This fellow looked oddly like an ape, muscular on the front of his chest, but nowhere else. He was so concentrated on looking good to himself he had failed to notice that he'd created a body that looked off-kilter.

Pride is like that in the quest for deepening our relationship with Christ. If we don't want anyone telling us what do to or pointing out areas of our lives that need change, [then] we can become off-kilter spiritually. The spiritual father gives direction and sets standards that, like the weightlifting instructor, are based on experience. If we become defensive we miss the opportunity to grow spiritually...

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