By Gabriel Bunge
The Fathers of the Church, deeply-rooted within the Scriptures, have left us a wealthy treasure as inheritance, not just of texts, but in addition of manners, kinds and gestures of prayer. at the present time, western Christianity in a unique approach, must rediscover the intimate union which needs to exist—in prayer simply as in any element of Christian life—between concept and perform, among contemplation and sensible workout. One learns how one can pray by means of praying, and the entire of our being is named to take part during this paintings: the brain, the center, but additionally the physique, the gaze, the senses. Fr. Gabriel Bunge, a hermit with nice non secular discernment and profound wisdom of the Fathers of the wasteland, offers with masterly coherence this crucial cohesion among what one believes and what one expresses within the perform of prayer: a desirable rediscovery of the precious treasure inside the teachings of the Church Fathers at the perform of non-public prayer.
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Additional resources for Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition
The “spiritualization” of this Old Testament word of God —in the Holy Spirit opening its horizons toward Christ and his Church—must not be done through toned-down translations and certainly not, as has become the custom today, through omissions! Only inspired “meditation” is capable of accomplishing this “spiritualization”, which is of course necessary for the Scriptures of the Old Testament in general. The Christian finds the key to such an opening up toward Christ and his Church in the “typological” manner in which the New Testament—and subsequently the Fathers of the Church—read the Old Testament word of God.
Certainly, they, too, made a clear-cut distinction between a praktikos and a theoretikos. For instance, the two types are exposed to entirely different temptations and have different battles to fight. 84 Indeed, it is not at all a question of two different subjects, and consequently there are not two different “ways”, either, between which one could be free to choose arbitrarily or according to one’s inclination. 85 The praktikos is to the theoretikos in fact as Jacob is to Israel,86 and these are indeed one and the same person.
But even outside of Christianity there is talk of the different “spiritualities” of the great world religions. The fact that the concept of “spirituality” is so vaguely defined has extremely negative consequences for the Christian understanding of “the spiritual life”. For as a result, many other things appear to be “spiritual” that actually belong to an entirely different sphere. This becomes clear immediately when we turn to Scripture and, moreover, to the Fathers. For here the adjective “spiritual” (πνευματικός), in the connection that is of interest to us, refers unambiguously to the Person of the Holy Spirit!
Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition by Gabriel Bunge