The Flight of Love

Dorotheos of Gaza: Discourses and Sayings. Chapter 21 On Insensitivity of Soul and the Flight of Love

This is the next to last chapter in Dorotheos’ book. It is, therefore, the next to last post from me on Dorotheos’ book. The next chapter is a short collection of maxims on the spiritual life. So, in a real way, this is the last chapter in this collection of discourses and sayings. Chapter 21 is a very short chapter.  The paragraph below is about half of the entire chapter. Though brief, it is a very great summary of many of the themes from Dorotheos’ book. May God, who is so good, give us the good dispositions explained in the previous chapter/post and the courage to break the habit of being predisposed to believe our own suspicions about people. Here is the paragraph, enjoy!

The weakening of love towards your brothers comes from dwelling on suspicious thoughts and trusting in your own heart, and not wanting to suffer what divine providence arranges for you. Do you want to be helped by God about this? Do not be predisposed to believe your own suspicions. Strive with all your might to be humbled for the sake of your brethren. For their sake cut off your own will. If anyone insults you or otherwise troubles you, pray for him, as the Father says, as for one who does you a great benefit in curing you of your love for pleasure. From this your violent passions will be lessened. The Fathers say that genuine love is the curb of passions, and, before all, it entreats God to give you sobriety and a clear understanding to know what is his will, what is good and well-pleasing to him and perfect, and the power of being constant in the performance of every good work. Dorotheos (Page 250)



Filed under Flames of Wisdom, Poems, Books and Reviews

3 responses to “The Flight of Love

  1. Fr. James,

    This is a great reading for lent–for this point in lent, especially. Lent seems to test all of our capacities for love to the limit. Thank you for this post which speaks to my heart!

  2. This book looks fantastic, Father James. I was totally blown away (and convicted) by that last paragraph. “Do not be predisposed to believe your own suspicions.” I will be thinking about that today. Yes, like Jenny said, your post is perfect for this point in Lent. Thank you.

  3. Fr. James Coles

    Jenny and Molly,
    I am honored to have you both making comments.
    Funny thing about the Dorothoes book is that it is not a Lenten book per se. But it has been a great parish-wide read. Someone told me that it has been the thing that is holding them together through Lent.
    My biggest ‘Dorotheos take away’ is what you caught Molly. I think I have spent time and effort in the past being suspicious of what others might be really thinking, meaning or planning. This is a very bad way to pastor a congregation and, with the help of God, I have tried to be an end to it.
    Thank you both.
    Fr. James

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